'12 Years a Slave' Wins Best Picture in Closest Oscar Race in Years

This year’s Oscar race for Best Picture was a tight one. Though 12 Years a Slave was, in many ways, the favorite to win the little golden man, it had plenty of stiff competition. And as Ellen DeGeneres noted in her opening monologue, it should win "or the entire Academy is racist." Thankfully, the Academy made the totally right decision and 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture. It also meant that our girl Lupita got to take to the stage again (woohoo!).

And as clear of a frontrunner as 12 Years a Slave was, the Academy loves Martin Scorsese (but not too much, seeing as the oft-nominated director has only one once) and the Wolf of Wall Street was doing some major campaigning leading up to the ceremony. But the closest to even touching 12 Years a Slave in the category was David O. Russell's American Hustle — the glitziest and most glamorous entry into the awards this year. (Many, including us, have called the slick dramedy the Argo of this year’s lot.) And then there was the visionary epic Gravity, the most powerful film in the bunch when it came to sheer filmmaking.

But, the eventual winner 12 Years a Slave allowed the brilliant Steve McQueen to make a gracious speech that was finished with an important message about slavery and the impact the film has had on telling those stories. He then exuberantly jumped in the air and joined his much-deserving cast and crew.

The Best Picture category is often the most predictable award of Oscars night, even though there have been some major upsets in the past. How Shakespeare in Love beat out Saving Private Ryan AND Life is Beautiful is still a mystery. I guess the Academy was really over World War II in 1998. And don't even get us started with Crash... Regardless of how you feel about this year's winner, isn't it nice that, for once, we actually were at the edge of our seats at the end of the three-hour ceremony?