Last night was the biggest night in Hollywood. The Academy Awards, rounded up what was a night of making history; a night celebrities, and movie lovers alike, look forward to. Steve McQueen’s epic pre-Civil War slavery drama, 12 Years A Slave won the golden statue for best picture on Sunday. Held Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, this season had the highest number of Africans nominated for an Academy Award. Actor, Barkhad Abdi from Somalia, of Captain Phillips fame, 12 Years A Slave actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, a Briton of Nigerian descent and his co-star, girl-of-the-moment, Lupita Nyong’o from Kenya.
McQueen is the first black film director to win an Academy Award in the 86 years of the Oscars’ existence. The dramatic drama also saw newcomer, Lupita Nyong’o get the nod for best supporting actress. One of the memorable speeches of the night, Nyong’o said: “I’m certain that the dead are standing about you and watching, and they’re grateful, and so am I… No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” The film also won Best Adapted Screenplay for John Ridley.
Gravity was the biggest winner of the night, winning a total of seven awards, including Best Director for Latin American Alfonso Cuaron, the first Latin American to do so.
Meryl Streep, who has the most Oscar nominations than any other actress, was beaten out by Cate Blanchett, this year. Blanchett got the Best Actress nod from the Academy for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, trumping Streep (August: Osage County), Amy Adams (American Hustle), Sandra Bullock (Gravity) and Judi Dench (Philomena).
The Academy had a host of brilliant films to choose from this year. Recognition was paid to a number of stars, including Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, who scored for the scrappy, low-budget film, Dallas Buyers Club. The movie has been 20 years in the making. McConaughey took home the Best Actor statue for his role as Ron Woodroof in the AIDS bio-pic drama. McConaughey reportedly lost more than 18 kgs for the role. This was McConaughey’s first nomination. Jared Leto, McConaughey’s co-star, won the Best Supporting Role. Leto played a transgender HIV sufferer. Dallas Buyers Club won three statues, including the two male acting awards.
Other winners of the night:
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, Her
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty (Italy)
Best Animated Feature: Frozen
Best Original Song: Let It Go from Frozen, music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Best Original Score: Steven Price, Gravity
Best Visual Effects: Gravity
Best Film Editing: Gravity
Best cinematography: Gravity
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
Best Sound Editing: Gravity
Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Best Animated Short Film: Mr. Hublot
Best Live Action Short Film: Helium
Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet from Stardom
Best Documentary Short: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life