12 Years A Slave, the true story about the abduction of a free 19th century American black man into slavery and his eventual release, won the Oscar for best picture at the 86th Academy Awards Sunday in Los Angeles.
Steve McQueen the director of 12 Years a Slave dedicated the prize to "all the people who have endured slavery and who are suffering in slavery today."
McQueen who was nominated for best director did not win that prize which went instead to Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity, a tale about an astronaut stranded in outer space, starring Sandra Bullock.
Bullock received a best actress nomination for her role in Gravity, but the Oscar went to Cate Blanchett for her role as a shamed socialite in a downward spiral in the Woody Allen-directed film Blue Jasmine. Also nominated for best actress were Amy Adams for American Hustle, Judi Dench in Philomena and Meryl Streep in August: Osage County.
Matthew McConaughey took home the Oscar for best actor for his role in Dallas Buyers Club as a homophobic, rodeo-loving Texan who contracts AIDS and becomes an unlikely savior for gay patients and drug addicts desperate for treatment. McConaughey lost 50 pounds for the role as the real-life crusader Ron Woodroof.
McConaughey beat rival Oscar nominees Bruce Dern for Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave and Christian Bale for American Hustle.
The audience at the 86th annual Academy Awards gave actress Lupita Nyong'o a thunderous standing ovation when she won the supporting actress category for her role in 12 Years A Slave.
Nyong'o, dressed in a low-cut light blue gown, thanked the Academy for the "incredible recognition" for her portrayal of Patsy, a 19th century slave in the American South. The role was Nyong'o's first job out of the Yale School of Drama.
Jared Leto won the supporting actor category for his turn as an HIV-positive transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club. Leto thanked his mother in his acceptance speech for teaching him to dream big.
Best documentary went to the crowd pleasing backup singer ode 20 Feet From Stardom. One of its stars, Darlene Love, accepted the award singing "I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free" from the gospel song His Eye Is On the Sparrow.
Disney's musical blockbuster Frozen won the best animated feature Oscar, the first time the studio has won the category since it was created for the 2002 Academy Awards.