‘12 Years’ Enjoys a Seemingly Narrow Victory

March 3, 2014 9:18 PM

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‘12 Years’ Enjoys a Seemingly Narrow Victory

The best picture victory by “12 Years a Slave” at the 86th Academy Awards finally handed cinema’s most prestigious prize to a movie by a black filmmaker, in this case, the British-born Steve McQueen. But the triumph, which found Mr. McQueen dancing happily onstage, had all the earmarks of a true squeaker.

“No one will ever know the margin, but it certainly was not an easy win,” said Stephen Gilula, a president of Fox Searchlight, which released “12 Years a Slave.” “It was really a tossup right until the end.”

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