’12 Years a Slave’ wins Best Picture



Steve McQueen pumps his fist and trophy into the air as “12 Years a Slave” celebrates on stage during the 86th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2.

LOS ANGELES (MCT) — 12 Years a Slave, the tough, true tale of a free black man abducted and sold into slavery in the 1840s South and a film that fearlessly explores the horrors of what has been termed America’s Holocaust, won three Oscars, including the ultimate prize, best picture, at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony Sunday night.

But it was Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, the five-years-in-the-making 3D space saga starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts helplessly ricocheting around in Earth’s orbit, that landed the most Oscars of the night – seven – sweeping the technical awards and claiming the director, cinematography, editing and original score prizes, too.

In the video interview from Oscar night, Mequon native John Ridley, who won for best adapted screenplay for “12 Years a Slave,” tells Vanity Fair where he’ll keep his Oscar.

Spoiler alert: He’s sending it to his parents.

“They deserve it. I wouldn’t be here without them. That’s where it deserves to be.”

Ridley’s parents still live in the Milwaukee area. In an email, his father, John Ridley Sr., wrote:

“It appears the film will have a life after the award season.  ’12 Years’ may achieve the status of a reference for those who desire to understand the issues of slavery.”