Saturday, November 2, 2013
MOVIE REVIEW: 12 YEARS A SLAVE
Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave stars Chiwetel Ejifor as Solomon Northup, a free black man in 1840s America. He makes his living as a fiddle player, and his wife is a teacher. He is shanghaied by a pair of nefarious white men, and soon finds himself on a ship headed to New Orleans where he is informed he will be called Platt and is sold into slavery by an unscrupulous businessman (Paul Giamatti). Solomon bides his time, attempts to preserve a modicum of self-respect, and waits for the chance to reclaim his rightful name as well as his family. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
Director: Steve McQueen
Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, Alfre Woodard
Release Date: Oct 18, 2013
Rated R for violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality
Runtime: 2 hr. 14 min.
When you are watching a movie there occasionally comes a sense that you are watching a classic piece of filmmaking. It’s rare especially in modern cinema but it does happen. Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is majestic journey through America’s “peculiar institution”. McQueen direction and visuals are beautiful, unflinching and incredibly moving. It’s a powerful movie centered by a powerful performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor. I’ve always found Ejiofor incredibly interesting as an actor and it was really impressive watching him flex in considerable acting muscles here. Ejiofor has a quiet strength about himself which suits the character very well. Ejiofor’s talent shines through during those moments when he doesn’t say anything. His pain and anguish is readily apparent through his eyes and face, its spectacular piece of acting. The supporting actors are a who’s who of A list actors with Michael Fassbender getting the beefiest role. Fassbender continues to impress me which his range. Personally, I didn’t know if he’d be able to pull off a plantation owner but he delivers in spades. Lesser known actress Lupita Nyong'o has a small role as a fellow slave but it’s a stunningly effective and tragic performance, it wouldn’t surprise me if she was nominated for a supporting acting nod come awards season. That same can be said of the film as a whole. It’s a prestige through and through with everyone’s talents on full display in this modern day classic.