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