Saturday, October 26, 2013

12 Years A Slave 2013

Just back from an early showing at BAM of Steve McQueen’s very good but not great searing movie.  The film is as I was expecting gut wrenching and upsetting; I mean I sat there watching these horrible acts of inhumanity (that’s putting it mildly) realizing that this was my country. McQueen has made two other tough to handle movies, “Hunger” and “Shame” (I might be the only person in the world who liked it) both of which starred the very handsome and gifted actor Michael Fassbender who also appears in this one as the evil and psychotic plantation owner, Edwin Epps. No easy Simon Legree  here because as I said Fassbender is very goodlooking and its was smart on McQueen’s part to cast this movie star looking actor as the “villain.” To be sure Fassbinder is not the only piece of shit here, Paul Dano and Paul Giamatti give him a run for his money. Cast as the lead, the Slave of the title is the wonderful Chiwetel Ejiofor who has a great chance of winning a Best actor Oscar. The movie opens with him already a slave and there are casual flashbacks that tell his horrendous story which by the way is based on fact. Also terrific is the young unknown to me actress Lupita Nyong’o as the young slave who is victim of Fassbinder’s hateful lust, and his horrible wife well played by the very good Sarah Paulson’s jealous rages. Nyong’o is to my mind a sure bet to win a supporting actress Oscar for her performance. I don’t know McQueen’s art, but he has a great eye for visuals, this was also seen in his two previous movies and it’s also apparent in this film even though many of those visuals are hard to watch.  I’ve no doubt that he is very well placed to become the first person of color to win a best director Oscar. The film it seems to me is doing very well at least in New York, the showing I went to looked  sold out, and I’ve never seen such a long line at the BAM waiting for the next showing of a film. Pins and sobs could be heard.


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