12 Years A Slave wins Best Picture at Oscars 2014

Gravity proved the most-decorated film of the night meanwhile

12 Years A Slave, Steve McQueen 's searing adaptation of the memoirs of Solomon Northup, a free man sold into slavery, has been declared best film at the 86th Academy Awards.

Favourite for the prize, the historical drama triumphed over Gravity, American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street and more in the category, though its total of three awards could not match Gravity's seven.

Read Brad Pitt & Steve McQueen's Acceptance Speech

Upon being presented the award by Will Smith, McQueen thanked his "wonderful cast and crew" for their part in the film's success, along with Brad Pitt without whom the movie "would not have been made".

"Everyone deserves not just to survive but to live," McQueen continued. "This is the most important legacy of Solomon.

Lupita Nyong wins the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

"I dedicate this award to everyone who endured slavery and those who still endure slavery today."

Earlier in the evening, Lupita Nyong'O won Best Supporting Actress for the film, beating last year's Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence to the accolade.

A tearful Nyong'O said during her acceptance speech: "I know that my country [Kenya] has been extremely proud of me … I’m so grateful for the support from the entire world. The fact that I won in so many people’s hearts is incredible, and I’m so grateful for that."

"[The Oscar] is in my hands but I haven’t got my mind around it yet. You hear people wanting you to win and predicting you’ll win, but it’s just not real until you hear Christoph Waltz say your name."

As for the night's other biggest prizes, Best Director went to Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity, Cate Blanchett was named Best Actress and Matthew McConaughey scooped Best Actor, making the McConnaissance complete but meaning Leonardo DiCaprio missed out yet again.

In addition to Best Direction, Gravity also scooped technical prizes for sound mixing, sound editing, visual effects, cinematography and film editing.

Frozen was this year's Best Animated Feature Film, while Joshua Oppenheimer's acclaimed The Act of Killing lost out to 20 Feet From Stardom in the Best Documentary category.

Twitter's attention was as ever focused on the ceremony's funny moments meanwhile, which included Ellen DeGeneres breaking the record for most retweeted image ever with a little help from Jennifer Lawrence, Brad and Angelina, Kevin Spacey, Nyong'O and many, many more.