vrijdag 21 februari 2014

100 Movies Challenge 2014 - # 35: 12 Years a Slave

Director: Steve McQueen
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 133 minutes
Year: 2013
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Lupito Nyongo’o, Benedict Cumberbacth, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson

Description: In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty, as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity.

Review: “12 Years a Slave” is already the third movie by director Steve McQueen. The novel with the same title is the true story of Solomon Northup and is one of the most prevailing stories about slavery.
In 1841, Solomon Northup lives with his wife and children in Saragota Springs, New York and makes his money as a violinist. When two men approach him to play for a travelling circus, Solomon accepts. After a couple of successful shows, he wakes up in a dark room, chained. From here the suffering starts for Solomon.
McQueen is a true artist when it comes to filmmaking. He uses some very long and extended shots, which contribute to feeling more empathy as a viewer. The soundtrack by Hans Zimmer also fits this film perfectly.
The title role is played by the relatively unknown Chiwetel Ejiofor. He plays the role of his life, very rarely do you feel so much for a character. He loses every single bit of hope and rebellion. The rest of the cast is also solid. A lot of the big names only have little roles, but they fulfill their job well. Michael Fassbender, who plays slave owner Edwin Epps, is relentless. And newcomer Lupito Nyongo’o is also a name worth mentioning. The tragic role of Patsey is one of the most difficult roles of the film. A certain whip scene is the hardest scene the watch.
“12 Years a Slave” is an emotional film and a definite must-see.

Rating: 5/ 5

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