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An unpredictable night when great films got recognition

Brad Pitt and Lupita Nyong'o celebrate
Brad Pitt and Lupita Nyong'o celebrate
The Wrap

Tonight at the Oscars, the stars shone bright but brighter still were great films with great meaning that stole the show. Well-acted films with powerful messages took home Oscars, and technical achievements like that seen by Alfonso Cuaron in "Gravity," made skeptics believers in the power of film.Staten Island movie fans, tonight was a night worth staying up for. The Wrap stated (March 3) that "Gravity" rolled through technical awards, and Alfonso Cuaron took best director. But Steve McQueen's slavery epic was Best Picture," added the report.

For the first few hours it did not look like "12 Years A Slave" would win as "Gravity," a technical achievement picked up major awards, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron. "12 Years Slave" battled through one of the tightest races in Oscar history to win Best Picture on Sunday night at the 86th annual Academy Awards, capping an extraordinary year for black filmmakers and movies in general," added The Wrap.

Director Steve McQueen, who did not win for director, received the night's highest honors when "12 Years A Slave" won Best Picture. "McQueen graciously thanked producer/actor Brad Pitt -- without him the movie simply would not have been made," added the report. "I dedicate this award to all the people in the world who have endured slavery … and to the 21 million people around the world" still in bondage, McQueen said.

Great acting won

"The two biggest locks of the Oscars -- Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett -- each sealed the deal Sunday night, grabbing top acting honors at the 86th Academy Awards," added The Wrap..

"McConaughey ("Dallas Buyers Club"), nearly as much of a lock, gave an impassioned speech about his family, including his late father, then left the stage with his trademark phrase: alright alright alright," added The Wrap, but failed to mention the victims of AIDS whose heroic battle against the deadly disease was indeed the biggest victor of the night. Without their story the film would not have been made and McConnaughey failed to recognize their battle.

"Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years Slave") and Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club") were also big winners both on stage and the red carpet Sunday night, as each took home supporting acting trophies after making a different kind of splash on their way into the Dolby Theater," added The Wrap.

"Leto won the first Oscar of 2014, winning for his role as pre-op transsexual Rayon in "Dallas Buyers Club" -- an expected win in a season that saw a lot of the Thirty Seconds From Mars frontman giving speeches at awards-season podiums. As he's been doing all season, Leto made sure to thank his mom, who was seated in the audience," added the report.

All in all the Academy Awards honored great acting and a terrific technical ahievement in the breakout blockbuster "Gravity" that starred Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, both actors who were shut out of the acting categories, although the film took home seven Oscars, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron. However in the end, the winners were stories with messages, "12 Years A Slave" and "The Dallas Buyers Club," where substance won out over style this year. Staten Island movie fans visit for more of this story.