News / Arts & Entertainment

'12 Years a Slave' Wins Best Picture Oscar

Director and producer Steve McQueen jumps after accepting the Oscar for best picture for his work in "12 Years a Slave" at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, CA, March 2, 2014.
Director and producer Steve McQueen jumps after accepting the Oscar for best picture for his work in "12 Years a Slave" at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, CA, March 2, 2014.
Reuters
The slavery drama 12 Years a Slave won the Academy Award for best picture on Sunday, making history as the first movie from a black director to win the film industry's highest honor in 86 years of the Oscars.

British director Steve McQueen's unflinching portrayal of pre-Civil War American slavery also won two other Oscars, including best supporting actress for newcomer Lupita Nyong'o and best adapted screenplay based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a free man sold into slavery in Louisiana.

"Everyone deserves not just to survive but to live, this is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup,'' said McQueen in his acceptance speech.

It prevailed over space thriller Gravity from Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, which nevertheless racked up the most Oscars of the night with seven, including the best director honor for Cuaron, a first for a Latin American director.

WATCH: Penelope Poulou's Interview with Alfonso Cuaron

Interview with film director Alfonso Cuaroni
X
February 28, 2014 9:29 PM
VOA's Penelope Poulou spoke with Alfonso Cuaron about his visual masterpiece "Gravity." Cuaron talks about technological challenges and innovations in making the film and the hard physical work put in by actors Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in portraying two astronauts adrift in space.

Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock as a stranded astronaut, swept the technical awards like visual effects and cinematography, a reward for its groundbreaking work on conveying space and weightlessness.

In one of the strongest years for film in recent memory, the 6,000-plus voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences scattered golden Oscar statuettes among the many acclaimed movies in contention.

It was a good night for the scrappy, low-budget film Dallas Buyers Club, a biopic of an early AIDS activist two decades in the making that won three Oscars, including the two male acting awards.

Matthew McConaughey, in a validation of a remarkable career turnaround, won best actor for his portrayal of the homophobe turned AIDS victim turned treatment crusader Ron Woodroof, a role for which he lost 50 pounds (23 kg).

Jared Leto accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for “Dallas Buyers Club” during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.Jared Leto accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for “Dallas Buyers Club” during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.
x
Jared Leto accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for “Dallas Buyers Club” during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Jared Leto accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for “Dallas Buyers Club” during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.
His co-star, Jared Leto, won best supporting actor for his role as Woodroof's unlikely business sidekick, the transgender woman Rayon, for which he also slimmed down drastically.

Australia's Cate Blanchett won the best actress Oscar for her acclaimed role as the socialite unhinged by her husband's financial crimes in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. 

``Thank you so much Woody for casting me,'' Blanchett said.

The tale of Nordic princesses, Frozen, won best animated film, a first for Disney Animation Studios since the category was introduced in 2002.

Comedian and talk show star Ellen DeGeneres returned as Oscar host on Sunday in an appearance many saw as calculated to project a lighter, more affable tone for Hollywood's biggest night after the provocative performance of her immediate predecessor, Seth MacFarlane.

In the comedian's easy breezy style, DeGeneres mixed with the crowd, taking a star-studded selfie with the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie that broke the record for retweets on Twitter.

The big loser of the night was director David O. Russell's 1970s crime caper American Hustle, which walked away empty-handed despite earning 10 nominations, the same number as Gravity.

Lupita Nyong'o, best supporting actress winner for her role in "12 Years a Slave", speaks on stage at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, CA. March 2, 2014.Lupita Nyong'o, best supporting actress winner for her role in "12 Years a Slave", speaks on stage at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, CA. March 2, 2014.
x
Lupita Nyong'o, best supporting actress winner for her role in "12 Years a Slave", speaks on stage at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, CA. March 2, 2014.
Lupita Nyong'o, best supporting actress winner for her role in "12 Years a Slave", speaks on stage at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, CA. March 2, 2014.
Kenyan actress Nyong'o was one of the big stars of the night, not only for her winning pale blue Prada gown on the red carpet, but for her touching speech.

 In accepting the first award of the night for 12 Years a Slave, Nyong'o, 31, paid homage to her character.

It does"n't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my
 life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's, and so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey, for her guidance,'' a tearful Nyong'o told the audience.

  • From Left, Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong'o, and Jared Leto pose in the press room with their awards during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Matthew McConaughey winner of the award for best actor for his role in the "Dallas Buyers Club" poses in the press room during the Oscars.
  • Cate Blanchett speaks on stage after she won best actress for her work in 'Blue Jasmine" at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, CA, March 2, 2014.
  • Jared Leto accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for “Dallas Buyers Club” during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Lupita Nyong'o, best supporting actress winner for her role in "12 Years a Slave", speaks on stage at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, CA. March 2, 2014.
  • Alfonso Cuaron accepts the Oscar for best director for "Gravity" at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, CA. March 2, 2014.
  • Kristen Anderson-Lopez, left, and Robert Lopez pose in the press room with their awards for best original song in a feature film for “Let It Go” from “Frozen” during the Oscars.
  • Paolo Sorrentino poses in the press room with the award for best foreign language film of the year for "The Great Beauty" during the Oscars.
  • Emmanuel Lubezki poses in the press room with the award for best cinematographer of the year for "Gravity" during the Oscars.
  • Anthony Katagas, from left, Jeremy Kleiner, Dede Gardner, Steve McQueen, and Brad Pitt pose in the press room with the award for best picture of the year for "12 Years a Slave" during the Oscars.

Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Pianist Myra Melford’s new CD “Life Carries Me This Way” features solo piano interpretations of drawings by modern artist Don Reich. She performs songs from the album, talks about turning art into music, and joins host Eric Felten in some Chicago boogie-woogie on "Beyond Category."