Face it, when you make it to Oscar level, everybody wins, with or without a golden statuette. This year’s event recognized a host of truly outstanding films of 2013 and we salute all of those responsible for delivering a very satisfying year in film. Special congratulations to the women executives and decision-makers at FOX Searchlight Films who shepherded 12 YEARS A SLAVE to the level of acclaim and embrace it deserves. Their achievements underscore distinctions of confidence and intelligence honored during Women’s History Month. Lupita Nyong’o took home an Oscar in the Best Supporting Actress category for her inspirational performance in 12 YEARS A SLAVE.
We sat down with a number of celebrities and filmmakers that were part of this year’s Oscar celebration and have included several of their quotes–
Chiwetel Ejiofor portrayed Solomon Northup, a free man captured and sold into slavery where he endured 12 harsh years and lived to write about it. He told Talk2SV, “I always felt that the representation of black men was somehow not accurate to the way that I was raised and the way that I saw black men when I was growing up in my father and my grandfather. The kind men they were even when they were young men were very different to the kind of men that I had seen in cinema or that I was seeing in theatre when I was growing up. I always felt that there was something that could be done about that; that actually there were extraordinary role models and people that were out there. When I read 12 Years a Slave, it does lift me a little bit and I do get excited about representing black men in a way that I feel is fairer, in a way that I think is actually positive.”
Alfre Woodard rendered an arresting performance as Mistress Shaw, a slave-turned-house-madam, kept in the master’s quarters, elevated to pseudo-elitist status. She told Talk2SV, “I love the facts of this character. She’s lonely. Sitting in her taffetas and all, she’s lonely because she can’t function with the others, none of the slaves and all those women (in the community) are going to socialize with her, because in their minds, ‘well, she thinks she is too high and mighty to be socializing on a field.’ She’s got people serving her; it’s the circle of life. I serve (as a mistress), so yes, come and hand me a cup of tea. I wanted to give her refinement that she’s seen from being in the house but tweak it with aspects that show she’s still raw, so I get her dialect off a little bit. She says, ‘Master Shaw’s pec-u-ularities.’ Finding those ways that show she was still rough around the edges yet she’s completely grounded.”
Alfonso Cuarón directed GRAVITY, a filmmaking phenomenon, taking us on a galactic ride into space exploration fraught with danger and intrigue. He told Talk2SV: “This film is a big metaphor, this is a film about the woman, forget about space, a woman that is a victim of her own inertia. A woman who lives in her own bubble and confronts adversities: now all these adversities bring her further away from human connection and further away from a sense of life and living. All these other elements are voices that are part of her own psyche and represent the search of life, even as she is despairing, there is that part of the brain that can tell to and there is something that makes a species keep on going you. It’s that same something that keeps life going–this search of life so in many ways. It is a metaphor just as an internal journey of a woman, but instead of taking place in a city, in an apartment with other adversities, it’s just in space.”