"12 Years a Slave" makes history with best picture Oscar.
(FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES) - The slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" won the Academy Award for best picture on Sunday (March 02), making history as the first movie from a black director to win the film industry's highest honor in 86 years of the Oscars.
"12 Years a Slave," prevailed over space thriller "Gravity" from Mexican filmmakerAlfonso Cuaron, which nevertheless racked up the most Oscars of the night with seven, including the best director honor for Cuaron, a first for a Latin American director.
The film starring Sandra Bullock as an astronaut lost in space swept the technical awards like visual effects and cinematography, a reward for its groundbreaking work on conveying space and weightlessness.
It was a good night for the scrappy, low-budget film "Dallas Buyers Club," a biopic of an early AIDS activist two decades in the making that won three Oscars, including the two male acting awards.
Matthew McConaughey, in a validation of a remarkable career turnaround, won best actor for his portrayal of the homophobe turned AIDS victim turned treatment crusader Ron Woodroof, a role for which he lost 50 pounds (23 kg).
His co-star, Jared Leto, won best supporting actor for his role as Woodroof's unlikely business sidekick, the transgender woman Rayon, for which he also slimmed down drastically.
Australia's Cate Blanchett won the best actress Oscar for her acclaimed role as the socialite unhinged by her husband's financial crimes in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine."
The tale of Nordic princesses, "Frozen," won best animated film, a first for DisneyAnimation Studios since the category was introduced in 2002, and its girl-power anthem "Let It Go" won best original song.
For best foreign language film, Italy took its 11th Oscar in that category with "The Great Beauty," a visually stunning film about life in Rome and a writer in crisis.