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'12 Years a Slave,' 'Gravity' strike Academy Award gold

March 3, 2014 at 1:05 PM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, March 3 (UPI) -- "12 Years a Slave," the story of a free man sold into slavery and his fight to regain his freedom, took the top prize at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

Winning three of its nine nominations, the film is the first best-picture win for a black producer -- Steve McQueen, who also directed -- and brought statuettes to supporting actress Lupita Nyong'o and John Ridley for adapted screenplay during the 86th annual awards ceremony Sunday, Variety reported.

"Gravity," the tale of an untethered astronaut's struggle to return to Earth, picked up seven awards, including two for Alfonso Cuaron for best director and editing with Mark Sanger.

Cate Blanchett, who portrayed a Manhattan socialite falling on hard times in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," and Matthew McConaughey, who portrayed homophobe-turned-AIDS-activist Ron Woodroof in "Dallas Buyers Club," took home the best acting trophies, Variety said. Both had won several best-acting awards during the awards season.

Jared Leto, McConaughey's co-star, picked up the supporting actor category for his portrayal of a transgender AIDS patient.

Spike Jonez picked up an Oscar for original screenplay for "Her."

The best animated film went to Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho for Disney's "Frozen," which also won best song, "Let it Go."

Among films that failed to win any awards were "American Hustle," "Nebraska," "Captain Phillips" and "The Wolf of Wall Street."

"The Great Beauty" from Italy won for foreign film.

Comedian and daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, host of the ceremony, posted a selfie with several actors -- including Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence -- that Variety reported broke Twitter records and temporarily took down Twitter as well.

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