Oscars 2014: 12 Years A Slave wins best picture

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 11:09am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 5:32pm

Harrowing historical drama 12 Years a Slave won the coveted best picture Oscar on Sunday, at the climax of the 86th Academy Awards.

The movie by British director Steve McQueen beat eight fellow nominees - American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Watch: Stars hit red carpet ahead of knife-edge Oscars show

Matthew McConaughey earlier picked up the Academy Award for best actor for Dallas Buyers Club.

The star won the award for his portrayal of Ron Woodroof, a homophobic rodeo cowboy who tests positive for HIV in the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and battles US regulators to get the drugs he and others desperately need.

Australian Cate Blanchett won her second Oscar on Sunday for her role as a socialite who suffers a breakdown in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.

Blanchett, 44, was the favourite to win this year’s Oscar after sweeping awards season with prizes including the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA earlier this year.

Infographic: And the Oscar goes to... Every winner in the history of the Academy Awards

Blanchett beat Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock, Dame Judi Dench and Meryl Streep for the Oscar.

"As random and subjective as this award is, it means a great deal in a year of, yet again, extraordinary performances by women," Blanchett said in her acceptance speech.

Lupita Nyong’o wonbest supporting actress for her harrowing portrayal of a slave who’s caught her sadistic master’s eye in 12 Years a Slave.

It was the first Oscar nomination for the 31-year-old Nyong’o, and she won it for her film debut.

Accepting her award, she said: “Thank your to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is due to so much pain in someone else’s.”

Not just a breakout movie star, the Mexican-born actress of Kenyan descent has also made a huge splash in the fashion world.

The other nominees on Sunday were: Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine;  Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle; Julia Roberts, August: Osage County; and June Squibb, Nebraska.

Earlier, actor Jared Leto picked up his first Oscar for his supporting role as a HIV-positive transgender prostitute in Dallas Buyers Club.

Watch: Stars hit Oscar red carpet

Accepting his best supporting actor prize at the famous Dolby Theatre, Leto thanked his mother, saying: “Thank you for teaching me to dream.”

For much of the past six years, Leto shunned Hollywood, spending his time not on film sets but as the frontman for rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars.

But when the 42-year-old outsider decided to return to Tinseltown, he did it in grand style, taking on the challenging role of the coquettish Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club - capping an awards season in which he also earned a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild prize and the Independent Spirit Award.

Dallas Buyers Club tells the true story of Ron Woodroof, a homophobic rodeo cowboy who tests positive for HIV in the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and battles US regulators to get the drugs he and others desperately need.

Rayon becomes the unlikely business partner and friend of Woodroof, who was portrayed by Matthew McConaughey, himself nominated for the best actor Oscar.

Space thriller Gravity from Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, racked up seven Oscars - including Best Director, as well as for technical achievements like visual effects and cinematography, a reward for its groundbreaking work on conveying space and weightlessness.

It was the first Academy Award for Cuaron, 52, whose film starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney mixed dazzling special effects, suspense and human drama.

Dressed in a tuxedo, returning host Ellen DeGeneres opened the live telecast taking friendly jabs at the star-studded audience and nominees, from Jennifer Lawrence for her tripping on the stage last year to Meryl Streep, nominated for the 18th time.

DeGeneres’s impromptu selfie from the audience set a record for the most-retweeted post ever and temporarily disrupted Twitter Inc.’s service.

During the ABC ceremony, DeGeneres went into the audience and gathered up Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong’o and others for a photo. The post was retweeted more than 536,000 times within half an hour. Twitter was momentarily disabled for some users and quickly broke the record for most-retweeted post.

“We crashed and broke Twitter,” DeGeneres said later from the stage. “We made history.”

The winners

Best Picture 12 Years A Slave
Best Actor  Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Actor in a Supporting Role Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress in a Supporting Role Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave
Best Director Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Original Screenplay Her
Adapted screen play 12 Years A Slave
Cinematography Gravity
Editing Gravity
Visual Effects Gravity
Best Animated Film Frozen
Animated Short  Mr Hublot
Documentary 20 Feet From Stardom
Documentary short The Lady In Number 6
Short Helium
Best Foreign Language film The Great Beauty
Best Costume Design The Great Gatsby
Make-up  Dallas Buyers Club
Set Design The Great Gatsby
Production Design The Great Gatsby
Sound editing Gravity
Sound mixing Gravity
Score Gravity
Original song Let It Go, Frozen