12 Years a Slave and Gravity win big at the 86th Academy Awards


Well the 2013 Awards Season has officially come to a glorious end with the 86th Academy Awards. The big winners of the night were Gravity with 7 wins and 12 Years a Slave with three, including Best Picture. This is a rare year where the Academy really can’t be faulted with any of their selections and each winner is genuinely deserving of their award. The big loser of the night was David O. Russell’s overrated American Hustle, which lost all of its 10 nominations. Ouch.

12 Years a Slave winning Best Picture is an enormous triumph and the film is likely to go down in history as one of the most deserving winners. The film will not date in years to come and will stand as a chilling but ultimately beautiful tribute to those who have endured such inhumane cruelty in years gone by and the present day. Many will say that Gravity was the more deserving winner. Perhaps in a technical sense yes, but 12 Years a Slave is the more important film, and arguably the first Best Picture winner since The Departed that actually deserves the award. As a consolation prize for missing out on Best Picture, Alfonso Cuarón winning Best Director for Gravity is a testament to his incredible work on the film and the ways in which he has changed movie-making forever.

Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor for his incredibly dedicated performance in Dallas Buyers Club, with his co-star Jared Leto winning Best Supporting Actor for his touching role in the film. In a win that surprised absolutely nobody, Cate Blanchett won Best Actress for her searing work in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. But the most satisfying win of the night came when Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Actress for her debut performance in 12 Years a Slave. Patsy is the heart of the film, and Nyong’o’s heartbreaking performance is hauntingly beautiful. All four acting winners gave perfect acceptance speeches; particularly Leto, who managed to give heartfelt tributes to his mother, his brother and every victim of AIDS, while also encouraging everyone to follow their dreams. Very classy.

Ellen DeGeneres hosted the ceremony, and she really must be commended for keeping the evening light and bringing her trademark humour to the proceedings. Her opening monologue obviously can’t compare with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s from the Golden Globes, but the Academy does like to keep it a bit tamer than their friends over at the HFPA. However, DeGeneres managed to make a few naughty references, particularly referring to Liza Minnelli as a male Liza Minnelli impersonator, and warning everyone in the room that they would be labelled racists if 12 Years a Slave didn’t win Best picture. She was a much better host than last year’s Seth MacFarlane, and it would be surprising if she is not invited back to host for a third time in the near future.

Special mention must go to the Aussies who came away victorious at the ceremony. Blanchett is the obvious one, but Catherine Martin also won two Oscars for her brilliant production design and costumes for husband Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.

Overall, this year’s Oscars was an incredibly entertaining and satisfying affair, for once showing that the Academy aren’t the old, out-of-touch bunch that they are often portrayed as. But more than that, the event gave the opportunity to shine a light on the topics of AIDS, slavery and human inequality, and inspired us all to be ourselves and chase our dreams. Pretty good for a 3 hour celebration where rich people give other rich people golden statues, isn’t it?

Here is the full list of winners from the 86th Academy Awards:

Best Picture
12 Years a Slave

Best Director
Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity

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 Adapted Screenplay
12 Years a Slave – John Ridley

Best Original Screenplay
Her – Spike Jonze

Best Foreign Language Film
The Great Beauty (Italy)

Best Animated Feature Film

Best Cinematography
Gravity – Emmanuel Lubezki

Best Film Editing

Best Visual Effects

Best Original Score
Gravity – Steven Price

Best Original Song
‘Let It Go’ from Frozen

Best Sound Mixing

Best Sound Editing

Best Production Design
The Great Gatsby

Best Costume
The Great Gatsby

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club

Best Documentary Feature
20 Feet from Stardom

Best Documentary (short subject)
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Best Animated Short Film
Mr. Hublot

Best Live Action Short Film

And if you’re wondering how Larry and I went with our predictions – of the 21 categories that we predicted, Larry got 15 correct and I got 19. Not too shabby!



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