HOLLYWOOD, Cal. — A surprisingly entertaining and diverse 86th annual Academy Awards ceremony netted big wins for 12 Years a Slave, Lupita Nyong’o, and the music documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. Nyong’o, who was the odds-on favorite for her portrayal of Patsey, a slave who’s caught her sadistic master’s eye in “12 Years a Slave”, acknowledged the real-life woman who has made her a star.
12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen and produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company, was the winner of the Best Picture Award, though McQueen lost out to Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron for Best Director. A nervous McQueen thanked Pitt, who he said that without him, the film wouldn’t have been made.
“Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live,” McQueen said in his acceptance speech. “I dedicate this to everyone who has endured slavery and the 21 million people still in slavery today.”
Ms. Nyong’o thanked McQueen, her co-starts Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodward and Michael Fassbender, and her parents. It was the first Oscar nomination for the 31-year-old Nyong’o, and she won it for her film debut.
She is the seventh black female to win Supporting Actress.
Not just a breakout movie star, the Mexican-born actress of Kenyan descent has also made a huge splash in the fashion world, becoming the face of Italian designer Miu Miu in an advertising campaign and becoming this Oscar season’s It Girl for her vibrant fashion choices. 20 Feet from Stardom, a documentary that puts the spotlight on backup singers, won the Oscar for best documentary feature.
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