Lupita Nyong'o had already won the battle for the red carpet in her dazzling blue dress, before she crowned an amazing year by by taking home an Oscar for her first film, for her defiant role in ’12 Years A Slave’.
The Nigerian-born actress received a standing ovation as she went up to receive her award, beating bigger names including Jennifer Lawrence and Julia Roberts to claim her statuette.
Lupita, who plays a tormented slave girl Patsey in Steve McQueen's unforgiving adaptation of Solomon Northup's memoir of being sold into slavery, said in her acceptance speech, "It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life has come through so much pain in someone else’s, so Patsy I salute you.
"Steve McQueen – you charge everything you fashion with the breath of your own spirit. Thank you for putting me in this position. This has been the joy of my life.
"I am certain that the dead are standing and watching and are grateful to you, and so am I."
The first winner of the night was Jared Leto, given Best Supporting Actor for his work in 'Dallas Buyers Club'. He gave a comprehensive acceptance speech, taking the chance to thank his mother and brother, and calling out to those in Ukraine and Venezuela, "as you struggle to make your dreams happen, we are thinking of you tonight."
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