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'12 Years a Slave' earns best picture Oscar, 'Gravity' and 'Dallas Buyers Club' win big

'12 Years a Slave' earns best picture Oscar, 'Gravity' and 'Dallas Buyers Club' win big

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12 Years a Slave (FOX SEARCHLIGHT)
12 Years a Slave (FOX SEARCHLIGHT)

Gravity won big tonight at the Oscars, as Alfonso Cuarón's space drama took home seven awards including best director — but it was 12 Years a Slave that won the highest honor of the evening. Going into the Oscars, the two films that seemed to be in the strongest position were Gravity and Steve McQueen's drama, with ten and nine nominations each, respectively. But the Matthew McConaughey-starring Dallas Buyers Club was the film that got off to the quickest start, with Jared Leto taking home the statue for best supporting actor while the film also snagged best makeup.

Gravity first made a statement in the technical categories, picking up awards for best visual effects, sound editing, and best sound mixing. The roll continued as Gravity won best cinematography for director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki, and best editing for Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger (Baz Luhrmann's extravagant take on The Great Gatsby won the awards for costume design and production design). Cate Blanchett's performance in Blue Jasmine beat out Sandra Bullock for best actress, however, and Matthew McConaughey then won for best actor in Dallas Buyers Club. While it earned several nominations, the sci-fi love story Her won just a single Oscar: best original screenplay for writer–director Spike Jonze.

'12 Years a Slave' won three awards

Cuarón earned best director for Gravity, a film whose bravura combination of live-action elements and digital wizardry took years to bring to the screen, but when it came time for the biggest award of them all it was Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave that came away the winner. Despite its many nominations, the film's only other wins were best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong'o and best adapted screenplay.

Host Ellen DeGeneres struck a tone of snarky fun, poking fun at the nominees but always keeping them in on the joke — in stark contrast to Seth MacFarlane's performance last year, which had more than its fair share of awkward moments. Even some of the show's extended bits, such as when DeGeneres walked through the audience hand-delivering slices of pizza to Harrison Ford and Jennifer Lawrence, were entertaining because the celebrities were all too happy to play along. The one awkward moment came when she stopped to take a selfie of herself during the broadcast, most likely just an opportunity to brandish a Samsung smartphone as part of the company's suffocating sponsorship deal with the Oscars. A follow-up bit played much better with the involvement of a group of nominees, however, and set a new Twitter retweet record in the process.

Netflix ended up taking home an award — though not necessarily the one everybody was expecting. The company had picked up the documentary The Square last year, which looked poised to become its first Oscar win when nominations were announced. It lost to the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, but Netflix still came out a winner thanks to a last-minute acquisition: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, which Netflix bought just last week, won the best short documentary award.

The full list of winners for the 86th Academy Awards are below:

Best Picture
12 Years a Slave

Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón

Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Actor in a Supporting Role
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Actress in a Supporting Role
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave

Animated Feature Film

Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki

Costume Design
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin

Documentary Feature
20 Feet from Stardom

Documentary Short Subject
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Film Editing
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger

Foreign Language Film
The Great Beauty, Italy

Makeup and Hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews

Music (Original Score)
Gravity, Steven Price

Music (Original Song)
"Let It Go" from Frozen

Production Design
The Great Gatsby, Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn

Short Film (Animated)
Mr. Hublot

Short Film (Live Action)
Sound Editing
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle

Sound Mixing
Gravity, Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro

Visual Effects
Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
12 Years a Slave, Screenplay by John Ridley

Writing (Original Screenplay)
Her, Written by Spike Jonze