Lupita Nyong’o wins the J-Law vs. Lupita throwdown (which was created by the Internet)


Lupita Nyong’o, best supporting actress winner for her role in “12 Years a Slave.” (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Important news: Lupita Nyong’o took home the trophy for Best Supporting Actress in Oscar night’s most hotly-contested category, winning for her role in “12 Years a Slave.”

“It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone’s else’s,” said the visibly emotional Nyong’o accepting her award, adding she wanted to “salute the spirit” of her character, a young slave named Patsey. She also thanked author Solomon Northrup, who wrote the memoir on which the movie was based: “And to Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.”


Less important: She also won the manufactured rivalry created by the Internet, beating out Jennifer Lawrence for her role in “American Hustle”; meaning J-Law won’t win two consecutive Oscars after last year’s victory for “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Kenyan actress Nyong’o, 31, famously earned the role of young slave Patsey in “12 Years a Slave” a few weeks before she graduated from Yale School of Drama. She’s won many raves and awards, including the Screen Actors Guild trophy for supporting actress — and became a red carpet favorite for her fantastic fashion choices and capes.

However, because the SAG Awards were right after the Golden Globes — where Lawrence, 23, won for playing a desperate housewife in “American Hustle” — the Internet did what it’s made to do and turned the already contentious award season into a “J-Law versus Lupita” rivalry. Because obviously it can’t just be that two actresses are very talented and both deserve awards.

Of course, the feud was entirely fabricated by the Internet, so no one took it too seriously. Upside for Lawrence: The inevitable J-Law backlash – which she’s already avoided for a remarkably long time –  has been put off until the next time she does something slightly too precious. (Although she’s getting awfully close with her “that’s so adorable!” trip and fall routine.)

Nyong’o broke down in tears during her acceptance speech, and said that every time she looked at the golden trophy, it would be a reminder to people everywhere that, “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

More on the Academy Awards

Film critic Ann Hornaday: The Oscars go according to plan

TV critic Hank Stuever: Happily wasting too much time at Ellen’s easy-does-it Oscars show

Full recap: Oscars 2014

Photos: Academy Awards 2014

Photos: The best moments from the Oscars

VideoThe Oscars in 2 minutes

Oscars 2014: Full list of winners

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.

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Emily Yahr · March 2, 2014