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Old 09-08-2013, 11:38 AM   #1
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Default 12 Years a Slave (2013)

Steve McQueen is director I plan on following for the rest of his career and watching the premier for '12 Years a Slave' at TIFF Friday night is an experience I'll never forget. That's not only because the ridiculously talented cast showed up to introduce it (Pitt, Cumberbach, Fassbender, Giamoti, Ejiofor), but because performances like these and the commitment it takes are a rarity.

The story couldn't be more simple, but it's all about the characters and the incredible performances by the lead, Chiwetel Ejiofor and supporting actor/actress, Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o. Up until last night I thought for sure the Academy would have had Fassbender and Ejiofor engraved of the statue plates, but watching Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey last night in Dallas Buyers Club should make for excellent race; all four are career performances and deserve it. That being said, Lupita Nyong'o is a supporting actress lock.

The more I think about it, the more I'm amazed at what McQueen pulled off and the risks he took. He's unconventional and doesn't give a fuck and adapting this novel, based on a true story, was the perfect project for him and his talent. Amazing stuff.

Look for this one to be all over the Oscars; it truly is a special flick.

9.5/10


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Old 09-08-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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I love Steve McQueens films. This looks outstanding.
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:15 PM   #3
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Just seeing the trailer and the fact that Sarah Paulson has a part has sold me. Definitely looking forward to seeing this.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:59 AM   #4
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This looks great. It looks like a serious version of Django Unchained. Steve Mcqueen is a very stylish director. I wasn't keen on Hunger, but I loved its style and I've yet to see Shame.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:04 AM   #5
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Shame >>>

With Pitt, Fassbender and Cumberbatch I feel like I'm going to love this movie and the fact that this is getting buzz everywhere is even more confirmation of that. Hype as fuck.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:54 AM   #6
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Oh the drama! This has the look of hand me the Oscars right now all over it. Will soon show up in theatre here, I will check this out.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:14 AM   #7
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This is attracting so many rave reviews! I can't wait to see it. It looks like really emotional stuff.
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:22 AM   #8
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Truly incredible piece of work.

Very seldom does a movie like this come along... By that, I mean a movie that skips the historic melodrama in order to manipulate an audience into feeling certain feelings. You won't find any cliche Hollywood tropes in this film, it is a gritty, scary, terrifying, disgusting, and important movie.

Needless to say, the acting is out of this world (especially from Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender), and the story is told with perfection from a talented director. The score also stood out and is beautiful and scary (when it needs to be). Its not super long but it moves at a brisk pace. Big name actors pop up from time to time, but I was surprised (and happy) with how the focus did NOT shift to big name actors like Brad Pitt or Paul Giamatti when they appear on screen. The focus is always on Chiwetel Ejiofor, and rightfully so. This is a harrowing tale... It's a pretty graphic film, but I'm sure many people on this forum will find it "tame" by at least horror standards. But I have to say, you'll never find a horror movie this hard to watch. It isn't just bloody (in parts), but it shows the humiliation that accompanies being a slave and the absolutely terrible things that were done to families and individuals in the name of personal property. I think this is an important piece of work, and from what I've read it doesn't over-exaggerate slavery at all, but is as historically accurate as it is possible to be this long after the fact.

I just hope that a lot of people don't react in the 2 stereotypical ways people tend to react to this type of film. 1) "Oscar bait bullshit". No, this movie is incredible and you are doing yourself a horrid disservice by missing this movie. 2) "It's purposefully trying to make white people feel guilty". No, I'm white and this movie didn't make me feel guilty, and you shouldn't if you're white either (unless you're a slave owner...?). People are too caught up with modern politics and social discussions to realize that this movie is a historical account that has NEVER been captured with such realism in cinema before. Like Schindler's List (although this is quite a bit less "typical" in style), this is a movie that should be seen by pretty much everybody. Not for inspiring guilt or anything like that, but because this part of history has never been told in such an honest way before.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Revelator View Post
Very seldom does a movie like this come along... By that, I mean a movie that skips the historic melodrama in order to manipulate an audience into feeling certain feelings. You won't find any cliche Hollywood tropes in this film, it is a gritty, scary, terrifying, disgusting, and important movie.
This was one of the things I was most impressed by. I think there can be a sort of preconceived perception of these kind of historical movies, especially with all the awards buzz, that it's going to be shrouded in typical Hollywood sentimentality and self-awareness (as in something like The Butler). But I really hope that doesn't stop people giving this one a chance, because it's infact the polar opposite - an unflinching and bold movie made by a true auteur.

It's been a couple of days since I saw it now, and it's still lingering in my mind. I don't usually care so much about the Oscars, but if this one doesn't sweep then it may just be the Academy's biggest injustice yet.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Revelator View Post
Truly incredible piece of work.

Very seldom does a movie like this come along... By that, I mean a movie that skips the historic melodrama in order to manipulate an audience into feeling certain feelings. You won't find any cliche Hollywood tropes in this film, it is a gritty, scary, terrifying, disgusting, and important movie.

Needless to say, the acting is out of this world (especially from Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender), and the story is told with perfection from a talented director. The score also stood out and is beautiful and scary (when it needs to be). Its not super long but it moves at a brisk pace. Big name actors pop up from time to time, but I was surprised (and happy) with how the focus did NOT shift to big name actors like Brad Pitt or Paul Giamatti when they appear on screen. The focus is always on Chiwetel Ejiofor, and rightfully so. This is a harrowing tale... It's a pretty graphic film, but I'm sure many people on this forum will find it "tame" by at least horror standards. But I have to say, you'll never find a horror movie this hard to watch. It isn't just bloody (in parts), but it shows the humiliation that accompanies being a slave and the absolutely terrible things that were done to families and individuals in the name of personal property. I think this is an important piece of work, and from what I've read it doesn't over-exaggerate slavery at all, but is as historically accurate as it is possible to be this long after the fact.

I just hope that a lot of people don't react in the 2 stereotypical ways people tend to react to this type of film. 1) "Oscar bait bullshit". No, this movie is incredible and you are doing yourself a horrid disservice by missing this movie. 2) "It's purposefully trying to make white people feel guilty". No, I'm white and this movie didn't make me feel guilty, and you shouldn't if you're white either (unless you're a slave owner...?). People are too caught up with modern politics and social discussions to realize that this movie is a historical account that has NEVER been captured with such realism in cinema before. Like Schindler's List (although this is quite a bit less "typical" in style), this is a movie that should be seen by pretty much everybody. Not for inspiring guilt or anything like that, but because this part of history has never been told in such an honest way before.
Great write up

I was looking forward to the film in the months leading up to it but the critical exception (for some reason) had me worried it was going to be too melodramatic and, as you said, typical Oscar bait. Watched it last night and I was so impressed with how well they walked the line of being real, hard to watch, and impressive it was without falling into that territory. Instead of pushing you to feel "White people should feel bad" they made it more of a tale of human individuality instead of a race thing.

Michael Fassbender pulled out the best performance of his career (Along Chiwetel, but that goes without saying), Cumberbatch was awesome, and the minor characters played by Giamatti, Dano, Paulson, Williams, Batt and Pitt all did wonderful.

Can't wait to see what McQueen does next. Not sure if I would give this a 9.5 or ten but it's as close as you can get.
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