Gravity, Slave Oscar winners

Updated: 2014-03-04 08:22

By Michael Thurston in Los Angeles (China Daily)

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 Gravity, Slave Oscar winners

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, California, on Sunday. The movie also won Oscars for best adapted screenplay and best supporting actress. [Photo/Agencies]

Harrowing historical drama 12 Years a Slave won the coveted best-picture Oscar on Sunday, while 3-D space thriller Gravity was the top prize winner with seven at a politically tinged Academy Awards ceremony.

True-life AIDS-activist drama Dallas Buyers Club won three Oscars, including best actor for Matthew McConaughey, while Australia's Cate Blanchett won best actress for Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.

But 1970s crime caper American Hustle and Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street went home empty-handed from the Oscars, the climax of Hollywood's annual awards season.

12 Years a Slave won three Oscars overall: best picture, best adapted screenplay and best supporting actress for Kenya's Lupita Nyong'o, for her searing turn as a brutalized slave.

The movie, which won plaudits for depicting slavery with a raw realism not seen in the past, marks the first time the work of a black director - Briton Steve McQueen - has been honored with best picture.

Gravity, Slave Oscar winners

"I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today," McQueen said.

Mexican Alfonso Cuaron won best director for Gravity, the first Latin American to win the award. His film, hailed for its jaw-dropping imagery, took six other prizes: best visual effects, sound editing, sound mixing, cinematography, film editing and original score.

As widely expected, Jared Leto won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his fearless portrayal of a transgender woman with AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club.

The movie also won the makeup and hairstyling award, largely for efforts to transform Leto into a flirtatious woman.

Before the show, Hollywood's finest paraded on the red carpet, mercifully dry after storm clouds lifted. Nyong'o was one of the shining fashion stars, in a pale blue pleated Prada gown.

Later on, a tearful Nyong'o - who turned 31 on Saturday - earned a standing ovation as she took the stage to accept her prize.

She paid tribute to her slave character Patsey, saying: "It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's."

Host Ellen DeGeneres - who quickly earned raves for her second stint as host - opened with a monologue making fun of the storms that hit California on the eve of the Oscars.

"It's been a tough couple of days for us here. It has been raining," she said, addressing a global audience of hundreds of millions. "We're fine. Thank you for your prayers," she dead-panned.

She also made a stinging joke about 12 Years a Slave.

"It's going to be an exciting night. Anything can happen. So many different possibilities. Possibility No 1: 12 Years a Slave wins best picture. Possibility No 2: You're all racists," she quipped.

Later, she set Twitter ablaze when a "selfie" photo she took with stars including Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence quickly went viral, with more than 2.3 million retweets - a new Twitter record.

What they say

"All right, all right, all right. First off, I want to thank God because that's who I look up to. He's graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates."

Matthew McConaughey, actor in

Dallas Buyers Club

"Making a film can be a transformative experience ... for many of us involved in this film, it was definitely a transformative experience. For a lot of people that transformation was wisdom, for me it was just the color of my hair."

Alfonso Cuaron, director of Gravity

"As random and subjective as this award is, it means a great deal in a year of, yet again, extraordinary performances by women. (There are still some people in the film business) who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences. They are not. Audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money."

Cate Blanchett, actress in Blue Jasmine

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