Movie Nosh – 12 Years a Slave

22 Feb

What:  12 Years a Slave

By: Steve McQueen (the British director, not the dead American actor)

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender

What’s It About? In pre-Civil War, a free black man is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South

How is it? Outstanding.  A brutal, unflinching look at slavery from the point of view of a man of education and talent, forced to hide who he is and live as a slave.  Ejiofor is fantastic, and Cumberbatch and Fassbender offer two extreme types of slave owner.  McQueen is not afraid to let his camera linger, holding on a scene or an image longer than most directors in this rapid-cut era would be comfortable.  Due to the brutality of some of the scenes, I won’t be in a hurry to see it again, but it’s a powerful, moving piece of filmmaking, and may well take home the Best Picture Oscar.

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