Caribbean-Briton director Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” Wins Best Motion Picture at Golden Globes

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Published on January 13, 2014 with No Comments

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A man of Caribbean heritage was front and center at the Golden Globes last night, taking home the night’s top honor.

Caribbean-Briton director Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” was named best motion picture, drama at the 71st annual Golden Globes awards on Sunday night, beating out “Captain Phillips,” “Gravity,” “Philomena” and “Rush.” It was the lone award for the film at the Golden Globes.

McQueen’s historical biopic of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free man abducted and sold into slavery, “12 Years a Slave” was long considered a front-runner in the best picture Oscar race.

McQueen was born in West London to Grenadian and Trinidadian parents.

As he tells it: “My parents are from Grenada, my mother and father; you know, this is the place where Malcolm X’s mother was born. My mother was born in Trinidad; the phrase ‘Black Power’ was born in Trinidad. Harry Belafonte is from Jamaica. Marcus Garvey is from the West Indies. And there’s this huge majority of my family living in the United States, so it’s a little bit more complex than that. It’s not about me being a Brit; it’s about me being a part of that sort of diaspora.

“My trajectory, as such, of being introduced to slavery was fairly immediate because my parents were from the West Indies. And, you know, at school there was reference to slavery but not much. So it’s one of those things which I found out through my parents and obviously traveling back to the West Indies.”

“12 Years A Slave” first debuted at the Telluride Film Festival in August, and had its official premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. McQueen’s film, his third feature following “Hunger” and “Shame,” is favorite to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards in March.

The film’s star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, however, lost out in their individual category nominations Sunday night.

Matthew McConaughey’s role in Dallas Buyers Club, as a rodeo cowboy diagnosed with Aids, took home the honours for best actor.

Actor and rock-star Jared Leto – McConaughey’s co-star – won the supporting actor gong for playing a transgender character in the movie.

Elsewhere, Leonardo DiCaprio won best actor in a musical or comedy for starring in 1980s tale of greed and excess, The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese.

American Hustle was the biggest winner of the night, picking up three awards at the Beverly Hills ceremony.

Two of its all-star cast, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence, also picked up gongs for best actress and supporting actress.

3D space hit Gravity added to its box office success by bagging an award for film-maker Alfonso Cuaron.

The Golden Globes, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, are voted for by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and is one of Hollywood’s biggest nights, setting a marker for the Oscars in March.

 

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