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Coming into the Oscars, which are held tonight March 2, 12 Years A Slave received a huge boost as it scored top five honors at the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards.
The highly-praised drama won Best Feature, while British-born Steve McQueen went home with Best Director, dedicating his win to Solomon Northup – the inspiration behind the movie.
12 Years A Slave also scooped up Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o, who celebrated her 31st birthday last night, as well as Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography.
Despite the seven nominations for 12 Years A Slave, Dallas Buyers Club stole the show in the other categories, with Matthew McConaughey winning Best Male Lead and Jared Leto Best Supporting Actor for their role as an AIDS activist and a transgender HIV sufferer, respectively.
The Best Female Lead went to the talented Cate Blanchett for her role in Blue Jasmine, and who is also considered the favorite to win tonight at the Academy Awards.
But, it seems, the highlight of the night went to Paula Patton, who appeared for the first time on the red carpet since splitting from husband Robin Thicke.