(CNN) -- The searing drama "12 Years a Slave" was named best picture at the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday night.
The story of Solomon Northup, a free African-American man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, won just three awards, but they were all major: best picture, best supporting actress (Lupita Nyong'o) and best adapted screenplay (John Ridley).
Brad Pitt, one of the film's producers, accepted on behalf of the film before deferring to its director, a noticeably excited -- and tongue-tied -- Steve McQueen.
"Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup," McQueen said.
He added, "This is for all the people who have endured slavery, and the 21 million people who still endure slavery today."
Nyong'o, a newcomer, paid tribute to her character, Patsey, a slave in 1840s Louisiana. Her voice cracked as she spoke.
"It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is because of so much pain in someone else's," she said.
"Gravity" topped all films with seven Oscars, including an award for director Alfonso Cuaron.
The Mexican director devoted four years of his life to making the technically challenging film about a space mission gone wrong. He's the first Latin American to win the award.
"Gravity's" other Oscars are for original score, visual effects, sound mixing and sound editing, cinematography and film editing.
"Dallas Buyers Club" won three awards, including two in acting categories: best actor for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto for best supporting actor. The film also won for makeup and hairstyling.
As expected, Cate Blanchett won best actress for her turn as a modern-day Blanche DuBois in the Woody Allen film "Blue Jasmine."
Blanchett praised films with female protagonists. Female-centric movies are "not niche -- they make money!" she exclaimed to an ovation.
"Let It Go," from the animated film "Frozen," won best song. Robert Lopez, one of its songwriters, became an EGOT with his Oscar win: He now has an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. "Frozen" also won as best animated feature.
One of the evening's highlights was Darlene Love, one of the singers featured in documentary winner "20 Feet From Stardom." Love launched into an impromptu version of "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" upon the film's win, and her full-throated take brought down the house.
"The Great Gatsby" won two Oscars, for production design and costume design. Italy's "The Great Beauty" took home the Oscar for foreign-language film.
"American Hustle," which had tied "Gravity" for the most Oscar nominations (10), was completely shut out at the awards ceremony.
Source: CNN http://edition.cnn.com/2014/03/02/showbiz/movies/oscars-2014/
"12 Years a Slave
Actor in a leading role
Matthew McConaughey - "Dallas Buyers Club"
Actor in a supporting role
Jared Leto - "Dallas Buyers Club
Actress in a leading role
Cate Blanchett - "Blue Jasmine
Actress in a supporting role
Lupita Nyong'o - "12 Years a Slave"
Alfonso Cuaron - "Gravity"
Writing (adapted screenplay)
"12 Years A Slave" - John Ridley
Writing (original screenplay)
"Her" - Spike Jonze
Animated feature film
"20 Feet From Stardom"
Music (original song)
"Let it Go" - "Frozen" - Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Music (original score)
"Gravity" Steven Price
"The Great Gatsby"
Makeup and hairstyling
"Dallas Buyers Club"
Documentary (short subject)
"The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life"
Foreign language film
"The Great Beauty" - Italy
Short film (live action)
Short film (animated)
""The Great Gatsby"
Posters- from internet source