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 personified by a malevolent slave owner, as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. This is also the third collaboration between Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen, after Hunger 2008 and Shame 2011. John Ridley's screenplay has a few fine dynamics, but quite frankly in the end all the characters in the film end up being literally too black or white. Michael Kenneth Williams had an emotional breakdown while filming what eventually became a deleted scene in the movie, as he related on the The Arsenio Hall Show 2013. When Solomon wakes up in chains, his dark journey starts and the film never lets you take a break.
Because of his character's position as a slave he is usually unable to speak his mind unless he is prepared to be beaten. Of the seven titles directed by Steve McQueen through July 2013, this movie is the first which does not have a one-word title. They previously appeared together in Inglourious Basterds 2009 and The Counsellor 2013. Plot summary Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. Both of which serve to make the topic digestible. There are no tricks or gimmicks, no cheap takes on a side story or character that is put there for time filling or a life-lesson for Solomon to learn.
He gives, quite simply, the best performance from a leading actor since Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood. Though both actors appear in this film, they never met nor worked together in it. My body felt as though it were being weighed down by something considerably larger and heavier than myself. She is the great find of our film year and will surely go on to more dynamic and passionate projects in the future. As the film begins, we are exposed to his talent as a musician he plays the violin and get a glimpse of the life he leads with his wife and two children. He comes off as a relatively good man who is trapped within the powerful confines of the institution of slavery.
Facing cruelty personified by a malevolent slave owner, as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. Is it the guilt of someone's ancestors manifesting it in your tear ducts? The Best Picture win made McQueen the first black British producer to ever receive the award and the first black British director of a Best Picture winner. Our characters are in such opposition, but we as actors needed each other in order to be able to go the distance. Shocked that he had never heard of Northup before, he decided to adapt the book instead. Of the four, Magnolia is nearest to the actual plantation where Northup was held. Starting his career as a video artist before making full length films, Steve McQueen has an uncanny eye for imagery and contrast. The sounds of nature as the slaves walk or as Solomon approaches his master's house is noticed.
He's always a menacing and malignant presence even when not on screen, as his slaves must always be aware and prepared for his seemingly random bouts of sadism. Hans Zimmer puts forth a very pronounced score, enriched with all the subtle ticks that strike the chords of tone. Solomon Northup disappeared four years after he was freed. Brad Pitt was criticised for casting himself in a brief heroic role. Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about 12 Years a Slave is the way that it portrays slavery itself.
In Italy, promotional posters for the film featured Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender, instead of leading actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. On location, shooting in Louisiana took only thirty-five days with one camera, which prompted amazed laughter from an audience of Directors Guild peers, including interviewer Kathryn Bigelow, for the startlingly efficient direction of Steve McQueen. He's vile and strikes fear into not only the people he interacts with but with the viewers who watch. Epps, Sarah Paulson is just as wretched. Beautifully shot and edited, the film features moments of tension, heartbreak and a few laughs here and there.
In her first role in a feature film, Lupita Nyong'o, playing the pretty young slave Patsey - the object of Edwynn Epps demented and horrifying affections and the emotional epicenter of the entire picture, gives one of the most devastating performances I have ever seen. To this day, historians do not know what happened to him. You probably already know what the movie's about, but just in case. So why should you watch a film that could leave you reeling and devastated? Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sarah Paulson also starred together in Serenity 2005. Farmiga admitted that she wanted the role so much, but was happy for Paulson. He plays Edwynn Epps, a vicious and demonic slaver and perhaps the most loathsome and disgusting character ever put on screen.
In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist will forever alter his life. Other actors give excellent performances as well. Alone, these shots would inspire wonder, but in the context of this film they make us feel more forlorn, as if the ugliness of man is encroaching on the natural beauty of the world. History had it's way with me I am an African American woman. You're watching the birth of a star.
This movie marks the reuniting of Dwight Henry and Quvenzhané Wallis, both from Louisiana, where the film was shot, who had been acclaimed just months before for their first acting roles when they costarred in Beasts of the Southern Wild 2012. She went on to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the film. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist Brad Pitt will forever alter his life. Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor appeared together in Doctor Strange 2016. Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard are all great in relatively small roles.