12 Years a Slave

A new review from The Movie Snob.

12 Years a Slave  (A).  Let me add my voice to the chorus of praise for this very painful movie.  Surely you know the story even if you haven’t seen the film: in the 1840’s, a free black man named Solomon Northup was lured to Washington DC from his home in New York state, kidnapped, and sold into slavery.  Miraculously, he regained his freedom twelve years later and became a vocal abolitionist.  I thought this movie was very well done, illustrating both the horrors of slavery and how it degraded the white slaveowners as well as the slaves.  Director Steve McQueen (Shame) doesn’t shy away from graphic violence, but the movie is not the bloodbath that The Passion of the Christ was.  Great performances all around, starting with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon.  He has been doing solid work for years; I recommend the 2002 film Dirty Pretty Things if you haven’t seen it.  Michael Fassbender (Prometheus) does a fine job as the evil slaveowner Epps.  But the show is stolen by newcomer Lupita Nyong’o as Solomon’s fellow slave Patsey.  I assume they’ll campaign for her to win the Oscar for best supporting actress since it is not quite a leading role, and I expect she will win it hands down–and rightfully so.


8 comments on “12 Years a Slave

  1. […] so I’ll temporarily disqualify that one.  As between the other two, I’ll give top honors to 12 Years a Slave.  You’ve already heard all about this movie, if you haven’t seen it already, so I’ll just […]

  2. […] as their hired thief.  Smaug is a pretty impressive feat of CGI (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch, 12 Years a Slave).  And I have no quarrel with the casting of the lovely Evangeline Lilly (The Hurt Locker) as […]

  3. […] actors turn up and give good performances (Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle; Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave).  On the minus side, there’s a fair amount of tedious exposition. The CGI magic eventually […]

  4. […] tank (nicknamed Fury), and we get a grounds-eye view of the final days of the war.  Brad Pitt (12 Years a Slave) plays the savvy sergeant in command, and Logan Lerman (Noah) plays Norman, the green recruit who […]

  5. […] starring some bona fide movie stars—Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), and Chris Pine (Into the Woods).  When the movie begins, a young woman named Ann (Robbie) is […]

  6. […] (TV’s Game of Thrones) as the earth-side head of the particular Mars mission.  Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) as the overall head of the Mars program (if I understood right).  Jeff Daniels (Arachnophobia) as […]

  7. […] Waterston (Sleeping with Other People) as the Sigourney Weaveresque heroine and Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) playing both android David from Prometheus and android Walter from the Covenant.  I’d say this […]

  8. […] that I just couldn’t bring myself to care about any of it.  Also stars Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) and features Angela Bassett (How Stella Got Her Groove Back), Forest Whitaker (Rogue One), and […]

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