Sunday 28 December 2014

And the winners are... Cate Blanchett, Matthew McConaughey, Lupita Nyong'o and Jared Leto scoop best acting awards at the Oscars as 12 Years A Slave is named this year's best film

Published 03/03/2014 | 05:14

Director and producer Steve McQueen (R) celebrates after accepting the Oscar for best picture with Lupita Nyong'o (L) at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES TAGS: ENTERTAINMENT) (OSCARS-SHOW)
Director and producer Steve McQueen (R) celebrates after accepting the Oscar for best picture with Lupita Nyong'o (L) at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES TAGS: ENTERTAINMENT) (OSCARS-SHOW)

OSCAR host Ellen DeGeneres began last night’s ceremony by suggesting that it would conclude in one of two ways: the first possibility, she said, was “ That 12 Years A Slave wins the Best Picture Oscar. And possibility two: you’re all racists.”

Thankfully, Hollywood ended the evening with its reputation intact, as British director Steve McQueen’s harrowing historical drama took the top prize. The film, based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir of his time as a slave in the pre-Civil War American South, triumphed in what was seen as a tight three-way tussle with Gravity and American Hustle.

 

McQueen, who also won the Turner Prize in 1999, thus becomes the first black director ever to win Best Picture. However, he was beaten to the award for Best Director by Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron; the 52-year-old Mexican is the first Latin American ever to win the latter prize.

 

Cuaron’s space thriller swept the technical categories, winning a whopping seven Oscars in all, including  Best Score, Editing, Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. Speaking backstage after the ceremony, Cuaron paid tribute to the film’s British technical team, saying, “The amazing know-how, quality and sophistication of the British film industry made this happen.”

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02:  Actress Jennifer Garner attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Jennifer Garner attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Lupita Nyong'o attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Sandra Bullock attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actor Jamie Foxx (L) and Corinne Foxx attend the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Actor Michael Fassbender attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Recording artist Lady Gaga attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
(L-R) Musicians Adam Clayton, The Edge, Bono, and Larry Mullen Jr. of U2 attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Actress Kate Hudson attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Julia Roberts attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Penélope Cruz attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Emma Watson attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actor Bradley Cooper attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Angelina Jolie attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Meryl Streep attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actor Channing Tatum attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actors Elsa Pataky (L) and Chris Hemsworth attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Charlize Theron attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Anne Hathaway attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Actress Sally Hawkins attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Model Camila Alves attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Kerry Washington attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Jessica Biel attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Cate Blanchett attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Cate Blanchett attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actor Jared Leto attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Goldie Hawn attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Olivia Wilde (L) and Jason Sudeikis attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Amy Adams attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Goldie Hawn attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Kristen Bell attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Actress Glenn Close attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Recording artist John Legend (L) and model Christine Teigen attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Actress Lupita Nyong'o attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actors Harrison Ford (L) and Calista Flockhart attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Laura Dern attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell arrive at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES TAGS: ENTERTAINMENT) (OSCARS-ARRIVALS)
Actor Steve Coogan attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Naomi Watts attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Director Steve McQueen and producer Bianca Stigter attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress June Squibb attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Amy Adams (L) and artist Darren Le Gallo attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Anna Kendrick attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actors Ethan Hawke(L) and Julie Delpy attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actors Olga Kurylenko (L) and Kellan Lutz attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actresses Anna Kendrick (L) and Cristin Milioti attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actor Kellan Lutz attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Kristin Chenoweth attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Singer Liza Minelli arrives at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) (OSCARS-ARRIVALS)
Actress Olivia Wilde attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Liza Minnelli arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personality Giuliana Rancic attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actress Portia de Rossi arrives on the red carpet at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES TAGS: ENTERTAINMENT) (OSCARS-ARRIVALS)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personality Giuliana Rancic attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
TV personality Robin Roberts attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actors Julius Tennon (L) and Viola Davis attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personality Giuliana Rancic attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personality Ryan Seacrest attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personality Ryan Seacrest attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personality Ryan Seacrest attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personality Ryan Seacrest attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personality Kelly Osbourne attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV personality Tyson Beckford attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: (L-R) TV personalities Ireland Baldwin, Nancy O'Dell and Joe Zee attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV personality Brooke Anderson attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personality Shaun Robinson attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personality Shaun Robinson attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV personality Maria Menounos attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV personality Maria Menounos attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personalities Johnny Weir (L) and Tara Lipinski attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV Personalities Johnny Weir (L) and Tara Lipinski attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV personality Louise Roe attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: TV personality Rocsi Diaz attends the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

 

12 Years A Slave took two more Oscars: Best Adapted Screenplay for its writer John Ridley and, in perhaps the most popular win of the evening, Lupita Nyongo, who was named Best Supporting Actress. The 31-year-old Kenyan’s searing performance as Patsey, Solomon’s fellow slave, was her first ever film role.

 

The ceremony was relatively low-key compared to previous Academy Awards, with results that went largely according to the form book. The shortest odds had been on Cate Blanchett, who did indeed win Best Actress for the title role of Woody Allen’s most recent movie, Blue Jasmine.

 

Meanwhile, Matthew McConaughey’s remarkable recent career trajectory peaked with his being named Best Actor. The 44-year-old lost 40 pounds to play AIDS patient Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club. His co-star, Jared Leto, was named Best Supporting Actor for his performance as transgender AIDS sufferer Rayon. In his acceptance speech, Leto name-checked the “dreamers” presently protesting in Ukraine and Venezuela; the 42-year-old later told reporters that his rock band, 30 Seconds to Mars, had been due to a play concert in Ukraine in the coming weeks.

 

The night’s biggest loser was American Hustle; David O Russell’s fictionalisation of the 1970s ABSCAM scandal was nominated in 10 categories, but left empty-handed. So too did its fellow Best picture nominees Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street, Captain Phillips and Philomena.

 

The biggest shock of the evening came when the critically lauded The Act of Killing was beaten in the Best Documentary category by its music-themed rival, 20 Feet From Stardom. That award marked the only win of the evening for producer and Oscar veteran Harvey Weinstein, who also produced Philomena.

 

DeGeneres was considered a safe choice for host following Seth MacFarlane’s controversial 2013 turn. At one point she made a bid to create the most re-tweeted photo in history, by taking a selfie of herself, Leto, Nyongo, Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum and Kevin Spacey. The photo surpassed the previous record-holder – an image of Barack and Michelle Obama – in around an hour.

- Tim Walker, Independent.co.uk

Independent News Service

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