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.