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
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 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
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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.