2013 Movie Reviews: 12 Years A Slave

12 yearsSo, this is it. The film to beat. Every single thing about this movie screams ‘Oscar.’ Is it better than Gravity? Eh.. I don’t think so. But, is it a good film?

Solomon Northrop (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a well respected violinist who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Along with a woman named Patsy (Lupita Nyong’o)  is purchased by two masters, (Paul Giamatti and Benedict Cumberbatch) before ending up in the hands of a madman (Michael Fassbender) and slowly but surely starting to lose his identity.

This film is kind of like the Hunger Games books. You can’t look at it, and yet, you can’t turn away. The depiction of violence, a few nudity sequences, as well as multiple uses of the ‘n’ word make this film a monster to sit through. (I wouldn’t bring children if were you.) Now, I have to admit that the film’s dark nature as well as a rather long run time did turn me off from this film at times. But there are also so many moments that grab you.

One of my favorite moments in the film is when Fassbender’s character tries to whip Patsy. He can’t bring himself to do it, but then he tells Solomon to do it. The whole sequence is shot in just one long, continuous take.

While it’s not he year’s best film, 12 Years A Slave is a well-written, well-directed, and well-acted gem of a movie. It’s not always easy to watch, but in the end,it’s a film worth watching.

*****

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