The 86th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2013 and took place March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. The ceremony was scheduled well after its usual late-February date to avoid conflicting with the 2014 Winter Olympics. During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and directed by Hamish Hamilton. Comedian and actress Ellen DeGeneres hosted the show for the second time, having previously hosted the 79th ceremony held in 2007.
In related events, the Academy held its 5th annual Governors Awards ceremony at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center on November 16, 2013. On February 15, 2014, in a ceremony at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by hosts Kristen Bell and Michael B. Jordan.
12 Years a Slave won three awards including Best Picture. Gravity won the most awards with seven including Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón. Other winners included Dallas Buyers Club also with three awards, Frozen and The Great Gatsby with two, and Blue Jasmine, The Great Beauty, Helium, Her, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, Mr Hublot, and 20 Feet from Stardom with one. The telecast garnered nearly 44 million viewers in the United States, making it the most watched Oscar ceremony since the 72nd Academy Awards in 2000.
Ellen Lee DeGeneres (//; born January 26, 1958) is an American comedienne, television host, actress, writer, and producer. She starred in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998, and has hosted her syndicated TV talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, since 2003.
Her stand-up career started in the early 1980s, culminating in a 1986 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Carson likened her to Bob Newhart, and invited her for an onscreen chat after her set; DeGeneres was the first female comedian invited by the iconic host to join him for such a discussion, at a time when such an invitation was widely regarded as one of the most influential endorsements available for a comic. As a film actress, DeGeneres starred in Mr. Wrong (1996), appeared in EDtv (1999), and The Love Letter (1999), and provided the voice of Dory in the Pixar animated film Finding Nemo (2003), for which she was awarded the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first time an actress won a Saturn Award for a voice performance. In 2010 she was a judge on American Idol for its ninth season.
She starred in two television sitcoms, Ellen from 1994 to 1998, and The Ellen Show from 2001 to 2002. During the fourth season of Ellen in 1997, she came out as a lesbian in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Shortly afterward, her character, Ellen Morgan, also came out to a therapist played by Winfrey, and the series went on to explore various LGBT issues, including the coming-out process. This made her the first openly lesbian actress to play an openly lesbian character on television. In 2008, she married her longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi.
DeGeneres has hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Primetime Emmys. She has authored three books and started her own record company, Eleveneleven. She has won 13 Emmys, 14 People's Choice Awards, and numerous other awards for her work and charitable efforts.
12 Years a Slave is a 2013 period drama film and an adaptation of the 1853 slave narrative memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into slavery. Northup worked on plantations in the state of Louisiana for 12 years before his release. The first scholarly edition of Northup's memoir, co-edited in 1968 by Sue Eakin and Joseph Logsdon, carefully retraced and validated the account and concluded it to be accurate. Other characters in the film were also real people, including Edwin and Mary Epps, and Patsey.
The film was directed by Steve McQueen. The screenplay was written by John Ridley. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup. Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong'o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, and Alfre Woodard are all featured in supporting roles. Principal photography took place in New Orleans, Louisiana, from June 27 to August 13, 2012. The locations used were four historic antebellum plantations: Felicity, Bocage, Destrehan, and Magnolia. Of the four, Magnolia is nearest to the actual plantation where Northup was held.
12 Years a Slave received widespread critical acclaim, and was named the best film of 2013 by several media outlets. It proved to be a box office success, earning over $187 million on a production budget of $22 million. The film won three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Nyong'o, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Ridley. The Best Picture win made McQueen the first black producer ever to have received the award and the first black director to have directed a Best Picture winner. The film was awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts recognized it with the Best Film and the Best Actor award for Ejiofor.
Alfonso Cuarón Orozco (Spanish pronunciation: [alˈfonso kwaˈɾon]; born November 28, 1961) is a Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer and editor best known for his dramas A Little Princess (1995) and Y Tu Mamá También (2001), the fantasy film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), and science fiction thrillers Children of Men (2006) and Gravity (2013). Cuarón is the first Latin American director to win an AMPAS Award for Best Directing.
Most of his work has been praised by both audiences and critics, and has been nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Original Screenplay for Y Tu Mamá También, and both Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing for Children of Men. For Gravity, Cuarón received several major accolades for his achievement in direction, winning in the respective categories at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, the BAFTA Awards and the Directors Guild of America; and in addition winning the BAFTA Award Best British Film and the Academy Award for Best Film Editing (shared with Mark Sanger). He has also been awarded the BAFTA Award for Best Film not in the English Language as one of the producers of Pan's Labyrinth (2006). In his films, Cuarón is known for his ground-breaking use in the technique of continuous uninterrupted shots.
Cuarón's brother Carlos, as well as his son Jonás, are also writers and directors and have both acted as co-writers in some of his works. He is also friends with fellow Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu, collectively known as "The Three Amigos of Cinema."