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OscarsĀ® 2014: British Oscar Winners

3 March 2014 by Janina Matthewson

Thanks to a Mexican, the Brits enjoyed a successful night at the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

Technically speaking, Gravity - Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón's nightmarish exploration of space - cleaned up, winning seven awards from its ten nominations.

Its first winners were the visual effects team of Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould, who highlighted the ambition of the film, claiming that it had “seemed like a crazy project.”

The film then took out Sound Mixing and Sound Editing, with the predominantly British recipients quick to honour their director's drive and commitment. 

OSCARS 2014 Composer Steven Price accepts the Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score award for 'Gravity'British composer Steven Price (left) also took home an Oscar for Gravity's original score, and editor Mark Sanger, along with director Cuarón, scooped the award for Achievement in Film Editing, claiming that “There is no greater honour than being recognised by those who inspire you."

The film also earned awards for Best Director Cuarón and his fellow Mexican Emmanuel Lubezki, enjoying his first win for Best Cinematography after five previous nominations.

Also honoured at the ceremony were Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed, who won the award for Best Documentary Short Subject for The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life, which told the story of pianist and holocaust survivor Alice Sommer.

While accepting the award, Clarke mentioned that the film’s subject had in fact died exactly a week earlier, at the age of 110, and he paid her an emotional tribute: “"When I met Alice Sommer, I was struck by two things. Her extraordinary capacity for joy and her amazing capacity for forgiveness.”

Sadly, Stephen Frears' Philomena, starring Dame Judy Dench and Steve Coogan, failed to take home any awards. It had been nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Score.

OSCARS 2014 Director Steve McQueen accepts the Best Picture award for '12 Years a Slave2And although neither Steve McQueen nor Chiwetel Ejiofer were honoured in their own categories of director and actor, they did share in the glory when 12 Years A Slave took out the big one: Best Picture.

Hitting on the theme of the film, McQueen used his acceptance speech to reaffirm the fact that “Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live.”

All in all, 2014 saw the United Kingdom claim a good share of the acclaim, travelling through both space and time to do so. Houston, we don't have a problem.