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Steve McQueen’s harrowing, brutal and brutally honest 12 Years a Slave took home the Oscar for Best Picture Sunday evening at the Academy Awards. 12 Years eeked out a victory over Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, if you believe that they were the two films running neck-and-neck in the final stretch of the Oscars. Cuaron did take home Best Director, leading many to believe Gravity had a chance to claim the Picture prize. But it was McQueen and his A-list producer, Brad Pitt, standing on the Oscar podium at the end of the long ceremony, claiming the night’s final prize.
"Everyone deserves, not just to survive, but to live," McQueen said in his speech. And he’s right. McQueen was handed the mic after executive producer (and co-star) Brad Pitt gave a few words, saying how proud he was to follow the story of Solomon Northup. But Pitt quickly, and wisely, defaulted to McQueen, the brilliant director who is either a a "garbage man" or a "doorman," depending what member of the prestigious New York Film Critics Circle you are speaking with at the moment.
Picture wasn’t McQueen’s only win. 12 Years a Slave also took home major Oscar wins for Best Supporting Actress (for Lupita Nyong’o) and Best Adapted Screenplay (for John Ridley). But even though it missed out on Best Actor, Director and other top categories, 12 Years had enough support to take Best Picture.
Here’s the film’s trailer. We’ll have plenty more on the film’s Oscar win as the week progresses: