Let's start with Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity. Cuarón's win for Best Director makes him the first Latino to win in that category, and one of only six Latinos to ever win in the "big" categories of Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director, as well as the first to win since 2000. Gravity also swept technical awards for cinematography, visual effects, film editing, original score, sound mix and sound effects. Let's hope this is the beginning of a new normal for Latinos in film.
Also in the 'about time' category, not even Riedel could argue that everyone's favorite Longhorn McConaughey hasn't put forth some truly mesmerizing performances over the past two to three years. As the hard to love Ron Woodruff in Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey literally dropped his good looks and turned charm into smarm for a convincing portrayal of a flawed hero.