Between Ellen DeGeneres' hilarious monologues and Jared Leto's surprisingly poignant acceptance speech, the 86th Academy Awards were surprisingly entertaining. But, aside from the pizza-eating and selfie-taking, there were some incredible, moving moments that will go down in Oscar history.
The filmmakers and actors honored last night aren't the only ones who took home a prize at the Oscars. These 6 moments prove that we all won the Academy Awards:
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Alfonso Cuarón Makes Latino Movie History:
The Best Director category was monumental this year in more ways than one. The two frontrunners for the category -- Alfonso Cuarón and Steve McQueen -- were both set to make history if they took home the trophy. McQueen, who directed 12 Years A Slave, would have been the first black director to win an Oscar in the category. However, Cuarón swept the award season and took home the Academy Award for Gravity — becoming the first Latino to win the award for Best Director! The Mexicano had an amazing night — also taking home the award for Best Editing. His groundbreaking film also won for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects.
Jared Leto Stands With The "Dreamers" and LGBTQ Community:
Jared Leto took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club. The actor made it a point to thank the brave and inspiring people who inspired the film. Leto was also the only actor who acknowledge the turmoil in Venezuela and Ukraine. "To all the dreamers out there around the world, watching this tonight, in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, I want to say we are here," he said. "As you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live in the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight."
The actor also warmly acknowledged the LGBTQ community and remembered all those who have lost their lives to AIDS. "This is for the 36 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 for you. Thank you so much and goodnight!"
12 Years A Slave Makes History As Best Picture:
For the first time in history, a film directed by a black director took home the top honor at the Academy Awards. Steve McQueen’s adaptation of Solomon Northup’s memoir 12 Years A Slave won three awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o and Best Adapted Screenplay for John Ridley. McQueen, noticeably emotional while accepting the award for Best Picture, paid tribute to the women and men who lived through the horrifying events of the novel and movie. “This is for all the people who have endured slavery,” he said. “And the 21 million people who still endure slavery today.”
Although we’re disappointed Alfonso Cuarón’s sci-fi thriller Gravity didn’t take home the top prize, we’re still thrilled to see so much diversity on stage! Congrats to Steve McQueen, Lupita Nyong’o and the entire cast and crew of 12 Years.
Strong Women Stole The Show:
Strong, independent, successful women were everywhere at last night's Academy Awards, indicating that Hollywood has finally begun to realize that female actresses and filmmakers are a force to be recoked with. Cate Blanchett said it best during her acceptance speech, when she praised audiences for finally supporting movies with a female lead. “Audiences want to see [women], and, in fact, they earn money! The world is round, people!” she proclaimed.
Steve McQueen also lauded the powerful women who’ve impacted his life and his work during his acceptance speech. An emotional McQueen took the mic to applaud the strong women in his life: “All these women...all the women in my life. They’re all the most powerful!”
Unfortunately, while many of the honorees saluted the women in their lives, the Academy got it all wrong, running a “Heroes” segment that was almost exclusively male heroes. I’m sorry, but que? We could go on all day about female heroes in media and real life, but the Academy would’ve been smart to just take a quick look at the audience. Angelina Jolie, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock...all these women are superheroes!
Lupita Nyong’o Inspires Women To Pursue Their Dreams:
Lupita Nyong’o, a Mexican-born Kenyan actress, wowed audiences with her poise and intelligence while delivering her acceptance speech. The 31-year-old actress began her speech by acknowledging the woman she played in the film, a slave named Patsey. “It does not escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s,” she said. “And so, I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance.”
Later, she offered words of wisdom to all children, encouraging them to pursue their dreams fearlessly. “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’er from, your dreams are valid.” Well said, Lupita!
Latinos Dominate The Award Show
Alfonso Cuarón isn’t the only Mexican who walked away with a golden statue. His longtime friend, Emmanuel ‘El Chivo’ Lubezki, took home the award for Best Cinematography. It’s his sixth nomination...but his first win! The two filmmakers are good friends and collaborators, and have worked together on a series of incredible films including A Little Princess, Great Expectations, Y Tu Mamá También, and Children of Men. Now that the two men are getting the recognition they deserve, we know that the two men are going to dominate Hollywood and inspire future generations of Latino filmmakers!