Oscars 2014: Lupita Nyong’o wins Best Supporting Actress for ’12 Years a Slave’

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LUPITA!!! I’m so happy, I barely have the words.

Lupita Nyong’o became one of the very, very few actors to win an Academy Award for her first feature film. Her trajectory – from complete unknown to Oscar-winning actress and style It Girl – reminds me very much of another actress who won the Oscar on her very first film: Audrey Hepburn. Lupita, a Yale Drama School grad who just turned 31 years old yesterday, looked so happy and emotional when she won. Liza Minnelli kind of ruined the thanks, but whatever. It helped that Lupita looked like a princess, and that’s what she was: our new Hollywood princess. She even got a standing ovation, which was extraordinary, and just goes to show how popular she is and how she’s run a really effective Oscar campaign -it’s not just that people loved her performance, they love HER.

Lupita thanked director Steve McQueen profusely, saying that “It has been the joy of my life” to go on this journey with the film. She thanked Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender (she described him as “my rock,” which is kind of hot). She was emotional, but not a mess, which was great, and she ended her speech by saying that this award was a validation that “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

Incidentally, the seating arrangement around the 12 Years area is fascinating! Benedict Cumberbatch is sitting next to Angelina Jolie. This is amazing to me.

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Photos courtesy of PR Photos.

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129 Responses to “Oscars 2014: Lupita Nyong’o wins Best Supporting Actress for ’12 Years a Slave’”

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  1. Alexis says:

    OMG! Yes! I am so happy for her.

    And I’m a fan of your Audrey Hepburn comparison.

  2. andrea says:

    I am so happy for her!!!!

  3. Angel May says:

    Good for Lupita.

    Is it just me, or is Ellen the worst host ever?

    • mollie says:

      I think she’s fantastic. Wish she’d do this every year.

    • SonjaMarmeladova says:

      Maybe not the worst, but she’s close. What is she doing?

    • Sachi says:

      I think she’s OK. She seems nervous and a bit unnerved. IMO her opening didn’t go that well with the audience. Many of the jokes fell flat and she hasn’t set up the atmosphere at all.

      Many people disliked MacFarlane’s gig last year but I must admit he got more laughs and his routine was much more fluid and suited for an awards show because he had the song and dance numbers he participated in, the outrageous jokes designed to get a response, and he just looked so at ease and spontaneous hosting the Oscars.

      Tina and Amy should be given a chance. They’ve hosted the Globes twice (I think they’re doing it again next year) and they’ve done a great job.

      • qwerty says:

        @Sachi
        Tina&Amy said they’re not interested IIRC.

        I like Ellen, she’s doing great. I don’t even remember Seth Macfarlane.

      • Maria says:

        I enjoyed Seth’s run last year. Heck, I even got the humor of the Boobs song gag thing. I seem to be in the minority though.

    • pretty says:

      i am cringing for her. god… it is awkward, all over the place..

    • Helen says:

      I think Ellen is doing a great job!

    • littlestar says:

      I think Ellen is afraid she might offend some of the stars there, so that’s why she’s doing tame jokes. I guess she wants to make sure she still has famous guests for her talk show? Lol.

      • qwerty says:

        I don’t think offensive jokes are Ellen’s style really. She can be sarcastic but still always keeps it nice with her jokes

      • Lily says:

        Making fun of ppl to the point that they are uncomfortable is not her style, never has been. I think she doing good

      • epiphany says:

        Yes! You hit the nail on the head. Ellen’s so concerned that if she offends anyone, her show’s guest list will dry up. The Oscar’s best hosts have been those that don’t give a damn what the celebrities think, and practically roast them from the stage. Award shows are nothing but popularity contests, and when all this reverence is attached to the event it constricts the host, who should be taking shots at the nominees, not fawning over them. That’s what makes it fun for the viewing audience. These people play make believe for a living – they take themselves way too seriously, and the last thing they need is more ass kissing.

    • lunchcoma says:

      I found her irritating and ageist.

  4. SonjaMarmeladova says:

    YEEEEEEEEEEES!!!! Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Sidenote: WTF is Ellen doing?

  5. Kiki says:

    Another fantastic speech! Congrats!

  6. Camille (The Original) says:

    YAY! That is so awesome, congrats Lupita!

  7. Adrien says:

    Yes!

  8. tifzlan says:

    YAAAAAAAAS

  9. So algal says:

    Yay!!!

  10. SunnySide says:

    Congrats to her. It was well deserved and she gave a very genuine and heartfelt acceptance speech. I wasn’t a huge fan of the cut of her dress but the color was gorgeous.

    • karmasabiatch! says:

      Seriously?? This is the most overrated, “this minute” type of actress. Others who’ve been turning in Oscar caliber performances for years were completely overlooked bc of her.

      Sorry, just don’t get the Lupita hype, and feel awful for the actresses (Jennifer Lawrence) who should’ve won and were robbed. :( Lupita won’t be around in 2 years, mark my words. She is simply this award’s seasons’ “PC” actress of the moment. Sad.

      • jammypants says:

        Jennifer Lawrence is the most overrated, “this minute” type of actress. Others who’ve been turning in Oscar caliber performances for years were completely overlooked bc of her.

        Sorry, just don’t get the Jennifer hype, and feel awful for the actresses (Quvenzhané Wallis, Emmanuelle Riva, Sally Hawkins) who should’ve won and were robbed. :( Jennifer won’t be around in 2 years, mark my words. She is simply this award’s seasons’ “PC” actress of the moment. Sad.

        There I fixed it. (btw I like Jen, but gf is overhyped like hell)

      • Annabelle says:

        You are disgusting.
        “PC” actress of the moment?

        Lawrence played a throphy wife with over the top scenes, what’s difficult about that.
        You obviously can’t handle that a black women won and is well liked.

      • June says:

        Sucking on lemons this morning????

      • Amahle says:

        PC actress of the moment? Boy, the things people will write from the behind safety of a computer screen. The Hollywood machine is anything but PC and Lupita deserved this win more than any of the other nominated actresses. On Oscar night it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in your career, you are nominated for a specific role in a specific film and hers was the best performance. By the way it’s 2014 and black folks ain’t going nowhere so you may need to adjust that smacks of racism attitude you have.

      • CC says:

        Sorry, I love JLaw but Lupita deservedly won. JLaw seems to agree.

      • Addison says:

        Anyone who says they don’t get why Lupita won obviously did not see the movie. She was amazing. All the actors were wonderful but she stole the soap scene.

  11. phoenix says:

    She looked so pretty and she brought tears to my eyes. So moving.

  12. mia girl says:

    Beautiful speech. Such class.

  13. argirl says:

    Yay, Lupita! Well deserved. Didn’t know she is two days older than me! No wonder I like her. 😜

  14. ray says:

    absolutely phenomenal. there are just no other words, i got so emotional at her speech and there was no other as deserving as her. all hail queen lupita!

  15. Sachi says:

    I was so nervous because I was thinking the Academy wouldn’t come through and J Law would win.

    So happy for Lupita. Her dress looked so princessy and chic when she was coming up the stairs. The E! red carpet reporters aren’t good for much but they were right when they said Lupita’s dress was a proper one for her first Oscars.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Ditto

      • Kate says:

        I agree with you Saachi.

      • Serene says:

        I’m so glad Lupita won. Her beauty, elegance and eloquence has been something to watch this year.

        But…and I could be alone in this! I didn’t like her Oscar gown. Too princess and fluffy. For someone who’s been hitting it out of the ballpark with her fashion game…..I expected more.

        I know a lot of people complained when she wore a green gown that they said that Jennifer Lawrence had worn the year before but that was my favourite look for her so far. The green and gold against her skin tone – magnifique!

        Different strokes for different folks!

    • JessMa says:

      As a Jen Lawrence fan I am so happy that she did not win. She is probably breathing a sigh of relief because the backlash would have been fast and fierce.

      I saw both performances and I really enjoyed both. I think Jen’s role was too short to merit a win. Whereas Lupita’s role was central to her movie. I also think it is good to spread the oscar love.

      • I agree–I do think Jennifer was great in American Hustle. But compared to the other nominees, no way should she have won any awards for it–I had no issues with her being nominated.

      • ctkat1 says:

        Totally agree- I was worried that J.Law winning would be really detrimental to her long term. She seems to agree with us- she did not campaigning this year, and seemed to be thrilled that Lupita won.

      • lucy2 says:

        I’ve yet to see the movie, but I’m very happy she won – she looked lovely and her speech was wonderful and heartfelt.

      • lunchcoma says:

        I enjoy both women, and I agree. JLaw had a strong performance in a fairly shallow role, and I think a win for her would have turned public sentiment against her. The award went to the woman who did really have the strongest performance of the year. I hope both Lupita and Jennifer go on to many other great roles and award nominations.

      • Penny says:

        Well said, Jessma. I love me some JLaw but I think it’s just as you say – relieved she didn’t win. Also, I read somewhere she is desperate to take a break but her role beckoned to her and she just had to play it. And play it she did – seriously for her age, she really holds her own. I hope to see her for many more years to come. I hope to see more of Lupita, but the only way that’ll happen is if she’s cast in roles where the character’s ethnicity/race isn’t central to the role. Either that or more stories featuring Africans become adapted on film.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Me, too. Yay!

  16. Tiffany says:

    Trend of the night, extremely attractive family members. Happy for her and I hope it leads to a fantastic career.

    • cmc says:

      LOL!!

      No but seriously, her brother is hot…

      • MaiGirl says:

        Guuuuurl, tell the truth! MaiGirl be like: “Lupita, can I borrow your brother for an hour or so? I promise I will return him gently used.”

  17. Janet says:

    YAY!!!!!

  18. Alyce says:

    And no one (besides Lupita) was happier than Jennifer Lawrence. She’s probably throwing a party!

    • Alexis says:

      Yeah, I highly doubt that JLaw wanted to be a symbol of the Academy being out of touch, which is what it would have turned into had she won. I like JLaw, but it would help if she started behaving with a little more decorum. I think Lupita’s popularity has indicated a sort of public longing for old school movie-star poise…

      • Alyce says:

        I like Jennifer and I like Lupita. However, the fact that people like Lupita doesn’t really mean anything. Soon (I guarantee you) people will be complaining about her. It’s how the media works – build them up until people are sick of them, “predict” a backlash, backlash ensues. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      • Seán says:

        I think Jennifer Lawrence should just keep being herself. Lupita really does seem like a very demure and classy lady and Jennifer seems like a goofy, unfiltered klutz! The main thing is that both ladies continue to express their talent and remain grateful for all they have!

      • CC says:

        Besides, JLaw is still young. And she’s not doing these things on purpose, she’s genuinely klutzy. Lupita…well, has a few years on Jennifer and also acts her age, and is incredibly elegant and classy.

        Personally I’d hate to see HWood kill JLaw’s spirit like it has for so many for the sake of a career.

    • kibbles says:

      It was a good thing for JLaw that she did not win this year. I have read that JLaw genuinely wants to take some time off after she finishes the Hunger Games. I wouldn’t be surprised if she goes away for 6 months to a year. She realizes that she has been overexposed and would have faced a lot of backlash had she won over Lupita this time. JLaw could come back stronger after a short break from Hollywood. JLaw got her Oscar, critical acclaim, and millions in the bank. I doubt she has any bitterness for not winning the Oscar this year.

    • lunchcoma says:

      She was visibly relieved and happy, so I agree. I think she’s a fairly smart cookie behind the clumsy everywoman act and knows that it’s better for her long term not to pull out ahead in races like these.

  19. Ronnie says:

    31??? How! Amazing. So glad jlaw missed out.

  20. lady mary. says:

    hurrah!!!!! so there is justice in this world,good for her ,she deserved it

  21. Melissa says:

    Deserving winner but Audrey won for her first lead role in a film she had supporting roles in the Lavender Hill Mob and several other films previously, not to mention various cameos.

  22. pru says:

    So happy for her. An absolutely touching and heartfelt speech!

  23. LadySlippers says:

    My kids are making fun of me because I teared up when I heard she won.

    I’m so so so happy for her!!!

  24. poppy says:

    more of her, please.

  25. Sandra says:

    I think the comparison to Audrey Hepburn is a little heavy.

    I like Lupita but come on.

    • Zadie says:

      Audrey was a horrible actress. She played Audrey Hepburn in every movie.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I think Lupita has the natural elegance and grace of Audrey Hepburn. I totally see the comparison.

    • karmasabiatch! says:

      Props to Sandra. To compare newcomer Lupita to the legend Audrey Hepburn is a bit rich.

      Let’s see if Lupita is more than the flavor of the (liberal media’s) month.

      • Ag-UK says:

        I like Lupita but proof is in the pudding Hollywood as a very narrow perspective. They heap all this praise but let’s see if they give her the roles. Time will tell I saw Non stop with my son and she had maybe 7 lines. She is indeed talented so I am hoping it all works out.

  26. WendyNerd says:

    YES YES YES YES YES YES

  27. truthSF says:

    I’m happy that Lupita won and I really think she deserves it. However, and I hope I’m wrong, but I’m worried that her win was the trade off for Gravity to win over TYAS for Best Picture. I would rather TYAS win in the Best Picture than Supporting Actress category, because that win will recognize the film as a whole and everyone that’s a part of the film, rather than just one phenomenal character.

    • Jayna says:

      I think TYAS will win for Best Movie and Gravity will win for Best Director.

      • truthSF says:

        I really hope you’re right!

        p.s. crying while watching Bette M. singing “Wind Beneath My Wings”. This song gets me everytime.

  28. ashley says:

    I’m jumping on my bed!!! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m so happy for her!

  29. lower-case deb says:

    whoever that took that long angle shot of Lupita approaching the mike, her measured walk, her impeccable posture, the sea of standing clapping people before her….
    she or he should get a mini-oscar.

    with that music. it’s like that scene in LotR where the whole of Gondor salutes the hobbits, you bow to no one.

  30. Jayna says:

    Jennifer Garner looks so pretty. l love her hair and her dress looks really good on her and is different than she usually wears. It’s great for being a presenter.

  31. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THANK YOU. If JLaw won, I would’ve lost it. When I read this post, I was doing fist pumps and mouthing YES! silently–I share a room with my little sister and she’s already asleep.

    • karmasabiatch! says:

      OMG. Grow the eff up!! Try comparing the ‘winning’ performances to the other actresses who were nominated. #Fail

      • Amahle says:

        What is wrong with you that you feel the need to make comments like this? You are so bitter. Jeez…it’s like Lupita took your cookies or something.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Amahle
        I think it’s pretty clear what her problem is. I would be willing to bet she hasn’t even seen 12 Years a Slave.

    • MaiGirl says:

      I screamed YES over and over again and then started clapping and crying like a baby. Scared the shit out of my cats!

  32. Joleenmean says:

    Did you guys spot a red-eyed Cummerbatch behind Chiwetel Eijofor? Great speech by Lupita Nyongo! Not a dry eye in the house.

  33. FingerBinger says:

    I have to agree about Liza Minnelli. WTF and she came out of nowhere too.

    • emmie_a says:

      Oh please. Liza was caught up in the moment. She was happy & congratulated her. What’s the big deal.

  34. Teri says:

    It was a nice win for her and she hands down has my vote for best-dressed. I will confess a part of me was routing for June Squibb to pull off the upset. She steals the show in Nebraska.

    Ellen is okay as host. I think she does better at the Emmys.

  35. Liberty says:

    Yay Lupita!!! and a lovely speech too,

  36. Mojoman says:

    She is 31?!!! I thought she was in her early 20s..wow just gorgeous! And totally deserves it. She was very poised, articulate and classy (no offense to JLaw, but she was a bumbling dimwit last year when she was on stage).

    • Kay says:

      Don’t know what speech you were watching was she rattled and nervous yes times a thousand but she spoke fine. Will never understand why to support one woman ppl have to bash another

    • Lou says:

      you don’t need to run JLaw down to build Lupita up. Both women are awesome. Jennifer wasn’t a dimwit, she was nervous. I can’t blame her.

      • Renee28 says:

        Yes, I don’t know why people can’t praise Lupita without bringing down a bunch of other people. And people forget Lupita is 8 years older than Jennifer and was living a normal life until recently. Of course they’re different.

      • danielle says:

        So happy she won! Also, loved the dress, gorgeous. And yeah, we don’t need to knock Jennifer to love lupita. Jennifer was 22 vs. Lupitas 31. Of course lupita was a little more poised!

    • Zadie says:

      Just like they couldn’t praise Jen without bashing Anne last year. But then it was okay, no?

    • lunchcoma says:

      Lupita’s speech was lovely. Jennifer’s was fine too. They’re very different women, at very different points in their lives, and won awards for very different films. All three of those things justify different speeches.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      I simply cannot understand why some can only hold one woman up by tearing down another. Yes, Lupita, the daughter of a politician and a professor, was eloquent and gracious in her speech. She is also in her 30s and a graduate of Yale University, where eloquence and poise are expected. The school churns out presidents and Supreme Court justices and she did study drama, which would include public speaking. When she won her Oscar last year, Jennifer Lawrence, the daughter of a construction worker, was barely in her 20s and has had no formal education since finishing high school early. And she had just fallen up a flight of stairs! Being able to deliver a line to a camera is not the same as public speaking or stage work. Besides, this was not just a competition between these two women – June Squibb, Sally Hawkins, and Julia Roberts were in this too. Or don’t they matter? Didn’t their work matter? It is possible to celebrate Lupita’s accomplishment without belittling others. She turned in a heart-breaking, powerful performance. She received well-deserved recognition for doing so. I am happy for her. And it seemed Jennifer Lawrence was genuinely happy for her too. If not, she’s a far greater actress than you’re giving her credit for being.

  37. ctkat1 says:

    I loved it. Her reaction was so great- she totally had a moment after she stood where she looked at Brad Pitt and was clearly overcome and not entirely sure what to do. I loved that she allowed herself an honest reaction to winning.

    I also wonder if she took the time to fully gather her skirt after what happened to J.Law last year.

    Her speech was lovely. I really hope that she has a long career- it’s going to be difficult, being a dark-skinned African woman with an accent, but I take such hope with every teeny tiny step Hollywood takes towards color blind casting (Michael B. Jordan as the Human Torch in the new Fantastic Four made me very happy) that maybe we’ll get there. Lupita doesn’t have any pending projects on imdb, but hopefully that will change now.

    • lower-case deb says:

      i also don’t mind it if she wants to go to theater more than film.
      do we know if she has anything lined up?

      • Musi says:

        Yes michael’s made me happy as well. Not sure, she said she was reading scripts and there was an article of her having a chemistry test. Really hoping the best for her, it will be hard but I hope she triumphs

  38. aquarius64 says:

    CONGRATS, LUPITA!!!!!!

  39. Zigggy says:

    I don’t know why but she reminds me of the Disney Cinderella- she looks sooo pretty :)

  40. babythestarsshinebrite says:

    I’m beyond thrilled for Lupita!!!!

  41. zut alors! says:

    To Lupita from a fellow Kenyan: hongera sana dada!

  42. Kim1 says:

    Well TYAS wasn’t shut out I was wrong but it seems like its going to be a sweep for Gravity.

  43. Autumn says:

    So very happy for Lupita! Her speech was fantastic, and heartfelt. I really look forward to her future work.

  44. Isabelle says:

    Best Dressed as well. Hollywood needs more women like her, classy and talented.

  45. Tara says:

    Yea Lupita! And that dress is perfectly gorgeous on her. Very graceful presentation overall.

  46. ViktoryGin says:

    One thing that I’ve always liked about this site is that it has always supported critical thinking. My intention was not to detract, but I suppose the truth is inconvenient. Tsk tsk.

  47. betsy says:

    Loved when Lupita got up and danced with Pharrell Williams when he was singing Happy. So joyous!

  48. Nclark6 says:

    Lupita’s speech was so moving and she looked gorgeous. I’m not sure what her career trajectory will be and while I hope it’s long and prosperous, regardless of what happens in the future this moment and accomplishment can’t be taken from her. I wasn’t sure she’d win but I’ so glad she did!

  49. Sabrina says:

    Congratulations to Lupita. I’m so glad that she won as I was a bit worried that Jennifer would win again.

  50. Green Eggs & Ham says:

    Grace personified. Lovely speech. Congrats to Lupita for being EVERTHING.

  51. gmm says:

    I saw all the movies and made sure I caught 12 years a Slave before the ceremony – I actually bought it. I thought Lupita was really good but Jennifer Lawrence was great and the elderly woman in Nebraska was great as well. I’m not surprised she got the award with all the hype but I don’t get it. She wasn’t introduced into the movie until at least half way or more through the movie. Obviously the Academy saw something I missed.

  52. Bailie says:

    Loved, loved, loved, loved, loved lupitas skin and her amazing dress.

    I have never seen a picture of her were her skin is not gorgeous.

    It’s nice to see a woman that is not applying her make up with a snow showel.

    Seems like she takes good care of insides and outsides, no junk food or preservatives for this lovely lady.

    I didn’t like her hairstyle this time and I also didn’t care for the headband and earrings.

    I think that stud pearl earrings and pearl bracelets would have looked great with her beautiful skin.

    Jared Leto had the best speech by far, so classy, humble and eloquent.