Nyong'o walked away with the best supporting actress award while Whitaker was recognized with the Joel Siegel Award.
12 Years a Slave is on a winning streak! The historical drama earned several awards at last night’s 2014 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.
Rising star Lupita Nyong’o earned the best supporting actress award—beating out the competition that included Scarlett Johnansson, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts, June Squibb and Oprah Winfrey.
Accepting her award to a standing ovation, the Kenyan actress said, “I’m a little terrified. I’m so honored to be here and I want to thank the BFCA for this incredible honor. This has been an incredible year of performances… Being part of 12 Years a Slave has been one of the most profound experiences of my life. And I could not be standing here had it not been for Solomon Northup and his love and passion for freedom.”
12 Years a Slave also won for best adapted screenplay and best picture. It was the second time the film earned a best picture award this week. On Sunday night, the movie earned a Golden Globe for best picture and just Thursday morning, it picked up an nine Academy Award nominations.
The legendary Forest Whitaker was presented with the Joel Siegel award for his continued humanitarian efforts and the establishment of his foundation, The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative—which helps disadvantaged young people around the world.
Good friend and fellow Butler co-star Oprah Winfrey had the pleasure of presenting him. “He is indeed a great actor,” said Winfrey. “But let me tell you my friend, what I know for sure is that he is an even greater man. He is devoted to his family, he loves life and he cares deeply about our earth and its people.”
Whitaker was humbled by the award. “Throughout my journey I’ve been truly moved by what young people have encountered and willing to sacrifice for their communities,” said Whitaker. “Almost all of them have had their lives scared by violence.” He went to mention several names whom he deems as heros in their communities and concluded with one inspiring quote: “Your pain is my pain, your face is my own reflection.”
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