Best Picture /

12 Years a Slave

Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers

Winner /

Thank You Speech
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Film Synopsis

Solomon Northup, a free black man living with his wife and children in New York in 1841, is tricked by slave traders into traveling to Washington, D.C., where he is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Sent to Louisiana, he experiences the violence and degradation of life as a slave while clinging to the hope that he will someday regain his freedom.

Academy Awards History

This is the fifth Academy Award nomination for Brad Pitt. He was previously nominated for:

MONEYBALL (2011)

Nominee, Actor in a Leading Role

MONEYBALL (2011)

Nominee, Best Picture

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (2008)

Nominee, Actor in a Leading Role

12 MONKEYS (1995)

Nominee, Actor in a Supporting Role

 

This is the second Academy Award nomination for Dede Gardner. She was previously nominated for:

THE TREE OF LIFE (2011)

Nominee, Best Picture

 

This is the first Academy Award nomination for Jeremy Kleiner.

Including his nomination this year for Directing for 12 YEARS A SLAVE, this is the second Academy Award nomination for Steve McQueen.

This is the first Academy Award nomination for Anthony Katagas.

Brad Pitt: Thank you all. Thank you for this incredible honor you bestowed on our film tonight. I know I speak for everyone standing behind me that it has been an absolute privilege to work on Solomon’s story. And we all get to stand up here tonight because of one man who brought us all together to tell that story. And that is the indomitable Mr. Steve McQueen.

Steve McQueen: Oh wow. I’m sorry, I apologize for the paper but otherwise I’ll just bore you all. Well, maybe I’ll do the same now but I’ll try not to. I’d first like to thank the Academy. Thank you so much. There are a lot of people for me to thank so I’ll just push on. My wonderful cast and crew, Plan B, Brad Pitt, who without him this film would just not have been made. Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Anthony Katagas. River Road, Bill Pohlad, New Regency, Arnon Milchan and Brad Weston. Film4, to the great Tessa Ross. And Fox Searchlight, Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley, and their fantastic team.

My publicist Paula Woods, I’m sorry about this, for her hard work. April Lamb, and my magnificent agents. I have to say this to all these women, I have all the women in my life and they’re all the most powerful. And my mother, obviously. Maha Dakhil – I can’t even pronounce it. Maha, I’m nervous, I can’t pronounce your name, you know who you are – Beth Swofford, Jenne Casarotto and Jodi Shields. Just give me one more minute. I’d like to thank this amazing historian, Sue Eakin, whose life, she gave her life’s work to preserving Solomon’s book. I’d like to thank my partner, Bianca Stigter, for unearthing this treasure for me. Finally, I thank my mother. My mum’s up there. Thank you for your hard-headedness, Mum, thank you. And my children, Alex and Dexter. And my father, thank you.

The last word: everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup. I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery. And the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Other Nominees

Best Picture