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'12 Years A Slave' best picture Oscar win rights past wrongs, critic says

'12 Years' Director Steve McQueen and cast celebrate Best Picture Oscar win.
'12 Years' Director Steve McQueen and cast celebrate Best Picture Oscar win.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

"12 Years A Slave," the movie adaptation of Solomon Northrup's riveting 1853 memoir about being born free in New York and later kidnapped and sold into slavery for 12 years, took home the Oscar for Best Picture Sunday night.

The film beat out stiff competition which included "Captain Phillips," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Nebraska," "American Hustle," "Her," "Philomena," "The Wolf of Wall Street," and Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" which initially seemed it would sweep the night with wins in several categories, including Best Director for Cuaron—making him the first Latin American director to win the honor.

According to ABC 7's film critic Arch Campbell, the Best Picture win for "12 Years" makes amends for the one-dimensional portrayal of blacks in the celebrated 1939 film version of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Margaret Mitchell's historical novel "Gone With The Wind" which was rewarded with 10 Oscars at the 12th Academy Awards held in 1940, including Best Picture.

With nine Oscar nominations and three wins for "12 Years," including Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong'o, Best Adapted Screenplay for John Ridley, and Best Picture, Northrup's memoir is sure to enjoy continued visibility, relevance and significance.

Kevin Don Porter is a CBS local contributor and the author of the mysteries OVER THE EDGE and MISSING—both available on Amazon.com. Visit his website at www.kevindonporter.com. Friend him on Facebook and Goodreads, and follow him on Twitter: @kevindonporter.