Lupita Nyong'o

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o

Like millions of others, I was up ’til 5am this morning watching the 2014 Oscars ceremony.  Feeling very tired right now …

Will not forget Lupita Nyong’o, looking so beautiful in her glorious dress, speaking so movingly and powerfully  in her acceptance speech:

Thank you to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.

Steve McQueen, you charge everything you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. Thank you so much for putting me in this position, it’s been the joy of my life. [Tears, applause.] I’m certain that the dead are standing about you and watching and they are grateful and so am I.

Chiwetel, thank you for your fearlessness and how deeply you went into Solomon, telling Solomon’s story. Michael Fassbender, thank you so much. You were my rock. Alfre and Sarah, it was a thrill to work with you. Joe Walker, the invisible performer in the editing room, thank you. Sean Bobbitt, Kalaadevi, Adruitha, Patty Norris, thank you, thank you, thank you — I could not be here without your work.

I want to thank my family, for your training [laughs] and the Yale School of Drama as well, for your training. My friends the Wilsons, this one’s for you. My brother Junior sitting by my side, thank you so much, you’re my best friend and then my other best friend, my chosen family.

When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.

12 Years A Slave was my film of the year so I was thrilled that it took Best Picture and saddened only that Chewetel Ejiofor did not win Best Actor – his powerful understated performance in the movie role of a lifetime deserved the industry recognition.  Given the dearth of leading roles – even today – for black actors in heavyweight dramatic roles in Hollywood, it is hard to imagine that he will ever have a better script to showcase his talent though I would love to be proved wrong in saying this.

The choked words of Brad Pitt and scenes of Steve McQueen jumping for joy as well as the jubilation of the entire brilliant cast gave thrilling testament to the commitment and heart underlying the creative base from which 12 Years came into being and which was evident in every moment of its’ screening.

I initially worried about seeing 12 Years because I thought it would be a long and gruelling misery-fest with a lot of gratuitous violence.  I was so wrong about this.  It was cinematically stunning to look at, unexpectedly uplifting at times, profoundly moving and full of stunning performances.  If you haven’t already, I urge you to see it.

A memorable film.  A memorable cast.  Memorable moments.  Lupita Nyong’o: Oscar Winner.

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