McQueen's 12 Years A Slave Scoops More Awards
With just a month to go before the Oscars, Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave has picked up another award.
It won film of the year at the London Critics' Circle Film Awards, where its star Chiwetel Ejiofor was named actor of the year, and his co-star Lupita Nyong'o won best supporting actress.
Stars including Naomie Harris, John Hurt, Gary Oldman and Steve Coogan gathered at The May Fair hotel in London for Sunday night's ceremony, which began just as news of Philip Seymour Hoffman's death was announced.
Film critic Jason Solomons opened the awards by paying tribute to the late actor and director who was last year named best supporting actor by the circle for his performance in The Master.
Director McQueen said the review that meant the most to him was from his mother.
Asked whose praise he appreciated most he said: "My mum, my mum above all.
"There's critics, there's scholars, but then there's you mum, so I'm very pleased about that."
Alfonso Cuaron was named director of the year for his 3D space epic Gravity, Cate Blanchett was named actress of the year for her performance in Blue Jasmine and Dame Judi Dench won British actress of the year.
Dame Judi sent a video message from the set of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2.
She said: "I'm very sorry I can't be with you tonight, but as you can see I'm out in India having a lovely time.
"I'm thrilled. Making Philomena was a wonderful experience, not least getting to meet Philomena herself."
John Hurt presented Gary Oldman with the Dilys Powell award for excellence in film.
The Dark Knight Rises star said it was nice to get an award from the critics.
He joked: "You don't have to look over your shoulder tonight."
The next big awards ceremony is the Baftas in London on Sunday, February 16, followed by the Academy Awards in LA on March 2.
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