Diversity wins big at 86th Oscars - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Diversity wins big at 86th Oscars

Posted: Updated:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Diversity was perhaps the biggest winner at the 86th annual Academy Awards.

For the first time, a film directed by a black filmmaker - Steve McQueen of "12 Years a Slave" - won best picture and a Latino - Alfonso Cuaron of "Gravity" - took home best director in a ceremony presided over by a lesbian host and overseen by the academy's first black president.

McQueen's grimly historical drama "12 Years a Slave" took best picture, leading the usually sedate filmmaker to jump up and down in celebration after his acceptance speech.

The British director dedicated his award to "all of the people who endured slavery and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today."

Cuaron's lost-in-space thriller "Gravity" led the Oscars with seven awards, including cinematography, editing, score, visual effects, sound mixing and sound editing. Some in his native Mexico have been critical that since the attention came for a Hollywood release and not a Mexican-themed film, his win didn't have the same kind of importance.

"I'm Mexican so I hope some Mexicans were rooting for me," he told reporters backstage.

The entire Oscar ceremony had the feel of a make-over for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - an institution that has sometimes seemed stuck in the past. After a Los Angeles Times report revealed the academy was overwhelming older white men, new president Cheryl Boone Isaacs has pushed for a more varied membership.

The movie industry that the Oscars reflect has also been reluctant to tell a wider range of stories.

"Dallas Buyers Club," the best picture-nominated drama about AIDS in 1980s Texas, took two decades to get made after countless executives balked at financing such a tale. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won best actor and best supporting actor for their roles in the film as a heterosexual rodeo rat (McConaughey) and a transgender drug addict (Leto) united by HIV.

"Thirty-six million people who have lost the battle to AIDS and to those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love, tonight I stand here in front of the world with you and for you," said Leto is his acceptance speech.

Cate Blanchett, best-actress winner for her bitter, ruined socialite in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," used her acceptance speech to trumpet the need to make films with female leads - films like her own and like "Gravity," starring Sandra Bullock. A study by analyst Kevin B. Lee found that last year's lead actors averaged 100 minutes on screen, but lead actresses averaged only 49 minutes.

"To the audiences who went to see the film and perhaps those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films, with women at the center, are niche experiences, they are not," said Blanchett. "Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money."

"12 Years a Slave" also won awards in the writing and acting categories. John Ridley picked up the trophy for best adapted screenplay, which was based on the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup. The screenwriter is only the second black writer (Geoffrey Fletcher won for "Precious" in 2009) to win in the category. Backstage, the "12 Years" team mentioned their efforts to include Solomon Northup's memoir as part of high school study. The National School Boards Association announced in February that the book is now mandatory reading.

"It's important that we understand our history so we can understand who we were and who we are now and most importantly who we're going to be," said Brad Pitt, who produced "12 Years." ''We hope that this film remains a gentle reminder that we're all equal. We all want the same: Dignity and opportunity."

Lupita Nyong'o was a first-time Oscar winner for her supporting role as field slave Patsey in "12 Years." ''I'm a little dazed," said Nyong'o backstage of winning the Oscar. "I can't believe this is real life."

Nyong'o is the sixth black actress to win in the supporting actress category, following Hattie McDaniel ("Gone with the Wind"), Whoopi Goldberg ("Ghost"), Jennifer Hudson ("Dreamgirls"), Mo'Nique ("Precious") and Octavia Spencer ("The Help").

In her second time hosting, openly gay Ellen DeGeneres sought to make celebrities more like plain folk. She passed out slices of pizza to the front rows at the Dolby Theatre, then passed the hat to pay for it. She also tweeted a "selfie" with such stars as Meryl Streep, Julie Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Pitt and Nyong'o. The shot "made history," DeGeneres told the audience later. It's since been retweeted more than two million times.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jessica Herndon on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/SomeKind

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • America Makes in Youngstown celebrates 5 years

    America Makes in Youngstown celebrates 5 years

    Thursday, August 17 2017 9:50 AM EDT2017-08-17 13:50:01 GMT

    America Makes is celebrating 5 years of helping companies in the U.S. become more efficient and competitive through Additive Manufacturing. 

    More >>

    America Makes is celebrating 5 years of helping companies in the U.S. become more efficient and competitive through Additive Manufacturing. 

    More >>
  • Former Youngstown boxer to be sentenced for beating 4 year old

    Former Youngstown boxer to be sentenced for beating 4 year old

    Thursday, August 17 2017 8:46 AM EDT2017-08-17 12:46:46 GMT

    A former super heavyweight boxing champion will be sentenced on Thursday morning, after jury found him guilty of child endangerment and domestic violence charges. Wesley Triplett could face up to 27 years in prison, after being convicted of causing permanent scars on a four-year-old boy's back, by using an electrical cord to whip him.  Triplett will be sentenced at 11 Thursday morning.  Mahoning County Prosecutors said that during the course of a four month...

    More >>

    A former super heavyweight boxing champion will be sentenced on Thursday morning, after jury found him guilty of child endangerment and domestic violence charges. Wesley Triplett could face up to 27 years in prison, after being convicted of causing permanent scars on a four-year-old boy's back, by using an electrical cord to whip him.  Triplett will be sentenced at 11 Thursday morning.  Mahoning County Prosecutors said that during the course of a four month...

    More >>
  • Three-month-old baby was thrown from a GMC

    Two adults, five children injured in Goshen Township crash

    Two adults, five children injured in Goshen Township crash

    Thursday, August 17 2017 8:34 AM EDT2017-08-17 12:34:33 GMT

    Seven people, five of them juveniles, were rushed to the hospital Wednesday night following a two-vehicle crash along Route 45 in Goshen Township. One of the children was transported by helicopter. Troopers say the crash occurred just north of West Calla Road shortly before 11 pm. According to the patrol, a Saturn driven by 22-year-old Hannah Koontz of Newton Falls ran into a GMC that had stopped along Route 45. The GMC, driven by Christina Brown, 34, of Leavittsburg, went off the ...

    More >>

    Seven people, five of them juveniles, were rushed to the hospital Wednesday night following a two-vehicle crash along Route 45 in Goshen Township. One of the children was transported by helicopter. Troopers say the crash occurred just north of West Calla Road shortly before 11 pm. According to the patrol, a Saturn driven by 22-year-old Hannah Koontz of Newton Falls ran into a GMC that had stopped along Route 45. The GMC, driven by Christina Brown, 34, of Leavittsburg, went off the ...

    More >>
  • SpotlightSpotlightMore>>

  • Stuff the Bus!

    Stuff the Bus!

    Sunday, August 13 2017 7:52 PM EDT2017-08-13 23:52:49 GMT

    21 WFMJ, Great Clips, Cocca’s Pizza and Huntington Bank have teamed up with the United Way to “Stuff the Bus,” now through September 3rd.   

    More >>

    21 WFMJ, Great Clips, Cocca’s Pizza and Huntington Bank have teamed up with the United Way to “Stuff the Bus,” now through September 3rd.   

    More >>
  • Panerathon 2017 Team Peacock Registration

    Panerathon 2017 Team Peacock Registration

    Sunday, July 30 2017 8:13 PM EDT2017-07-31 00:13:49 GMT

    Join 21 WFMJ this year for Panerathon 2017!  We want to have the biggest team at Panerathon this year and we need your help. 

    More >>

    Join 21 WFMJ this year for Panerathon 2017!  We want to have the biggest team at Panerathon this year and we need your help. 

    More >>
  • Weather Pics

    Weather Pics

    Check out weather related pics from our viewers!  Please send your pics to weatherpics@wfmj.com.

    More >>

    Check out weather related pics from our viewers!  Please send your pics to weatherpics@wfmj.com.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms