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Alfonso Cuaron wins best director Oscar for 'Gravity'

Mexican Alfonso Cuaron won the best director Oscar for 3D space drama "Gravity" on Sunday, as the 86th Academy Awards show drew towards its climax. Cuaron beat fellow nominees David O. Russell ("American Hustle"), Alexander Payne ("Nebraska"), Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") and Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street"). Cuaron spoke of the "traumatic experience" of making the film, which had already won several other Oscars earlier in the night, and thanked his stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. "Sandy, you are 'Gravity'," he said.

'American Hustle' in Oscars shutout

Crime caper "American Hustle" suffered one of the worst shutouts in Oscars history on Sunday after failing to win any awards despite its 10 nominations. The drama had received broadly favorable reviews and had led the field in terms of nods along with eventual best picture winner "12 Years A Slave" heading into Sunday's Academy Awards. As well as a nomination for best picture, the movie had also earned nods for director David O. Russell as well as for actors Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence.

'American Hustle' in Oscars shutout

Crime caper "American Hustle" suffered one of the worst shutouts in Oscars history on Sunday after failing to win any awards despite its 10 nominations. The drama had received broadly favorable reviews and had led the field in terms of nods along with eventual best picture winner "12 Years A Slave" heading into Sunday's Academy Awards. As well as a nomination for best picture, the movie had also earned nods for director David O. Russell as well as for actors Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence.

Alfonso Cuaron wins best director Oscar for 'Gravity'

Mexican Alfonso Cuaron won the best director Oscar for 3D space drama "Gravity" on Sunday, as the 86th Academy Awards show drew towards its climax. Cuaron beat fellow nominees David O. Russell ("American Hustle"), Alexander Payne ("Nebraska"), Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") and Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street"). mt/sst

'Gravity,''Dallas Buyers Club' win multiple Oscars

Space adventure "Gravity" and AIDS drama "Dallas Buyers Club" won early Oscars on Sunday, but suspense remained as the show moved towards its climax and the best picture award. At the halfway point, "Gravity" had won five awards, all in technical categories, "Dallas Buyers Club" took two and "12 Years a Slave" earned a key acting prize at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Offbeat facts about 86th Academy Awards

Here is a selection of interesting and offbeat facts about the 86th Academy Awards, taking place Sunday in Hollywood: - At 23, Jennifer Lawrence, in the running for the best supporting actress Oscar for "American Hustle," is the youngest actress to score three nominations (after "Winter's Bone" in 2011 and "Silver Linings Playbook" last year, for which she won best actress). The previous youngest was Teresa Wright, who was 24 when she won her third nod in 1942.

'12 Years a Slave' poised for Spirit Awards wins, ahead of Oscars

By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Gritty slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" leads the race for the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, as the film community gathers to honor smaller-budget and art house movies that are often strong contenders at the Academy Awards the next day. Directed by Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave" earned seven Spirit Awards nominations including best feature, director, best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor and best supporting nods for Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o.

'12 Years a Slave' poised for Spirit Awards wins, ahead of Oscars

By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Gritty slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" leads the race for the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, as the film community gathers to honor smaller-budget and art house movies that are often strong contenders at the Academy Awards the next day. Directed by Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave" earned seven Spirit Awards nominations including best feature, director, best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor and best supporting nods for Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o.

Racial barriers still hold back Hollywood's black talent

By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When Halle Berry and Denzel Washington won the best-acting Oscar categories and Sidney Poitier was honored with a lifetime achievement award in 2002, the night was a watershed for black actors in Hollywood. Since then the debate about Hollywood diversity among the African American community has continued to ebb and flow, but one fact remains constant: nearly all black actors are still only being recognized by the Academy Awards for playing specifically black characters in film.

'Die Hard' director released from jail

"Die Hard" director John McTiernan was released from prison Tuesday after nearly a year behind bars in connection with a wire-tapping scandal, his wife said. Tiernan, whose films also include "The Hunt for Red October" and "The Thomas Crown Affair," was freed from prison in Yankton, South Dakota, his wife Gail told AFP, giving no further details immediately. He spent 328 days in jail, according to a "Free John McTiernan" Facebook page last updated shortly before his release. He was jailed last April.
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