Saturday, October 26, 2013
I love adding the "Around the Web" section into my posts, cause face it, whether it be a film-y post or a food-y post, someone else has already covered it and can add another perspective to my experience being relayed here on Tinsel & Tine.
Normally, I try to only read interviews and behind the scenes info before writing about films/movies, and leave reading reviews til after, so as not to taint my originality. I should have kept to that policy, because now that I've read Owen Gleiberman's CNN Entertainment/ EW.com review on the Steve McQueen much anticipated movie 12 Years A Slave, I feel I should just write my agreement to every word Gleiberman offers; words my heart were crying to write, but would never have been so eloquently expressed:
Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave is an agonizingly magnificent movie: the first great big-screen dramatization of slavery. Based on actual events, it begins in 1841 and tells the story of a free black man from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a musician named Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who walks around in a natty gray suit, secure in the courtly modesty of his life as a husband and father of two. But then he accepts an offer to go to Washington, D.C., with a pair of traveling entertainers, and when they're out at a restaurant drinking wine, we get the queasy feeling this is too good to be true. - Owen GleibermanIt's amazing how good a life Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is living as the movie begins. His station in life is even more elevated than Cecil Gaines in The Butler. Solomon and his family walk into the town store and are greeted warmly, by name, by the proprietor. They have a store account and Solomon's wife Anne Northrup (Kelsey Scott) thinks nothing of buying the newest, costly carpet bag, ignoring her husband's inquiry as to the exact price.
He wakes up in a cold, stark prison cell, with a spiderweb of chains shackling his arms and legs. The traffickers have drugged him and are sending him down to Louisiana, where he'll be sold into slavery. Gazing at his chains as if he were in a bad dream he simply has to wake up from, the brilliant Chiwetel Ejiofor places us right inside Solomon's skin, and instantly we're sharing the horror this man's life has become. Ejiofor may have the most eloquent eyes of any actor now working. They are orbs of pure expression, and in this movie they need to be because Solomon can rarely speak what he's feeling. What we read in his intensely private thousand-yard stare is the agony of a man robbed of freedom, but also the renunciation of despair.- Owen Gleiberman
This is the brilliance of the movie, that magic which happens when a creative director, the right actor, a very well written script (John Ridley) and excellent source material (by the real Solomon Northrup) come together. You can't help but feel, really experience every scene and emotion as if it were happening to you. It doesn't matter what color you are, pride and dignity are priceless jewels bestowed upon the human race, it's inherent in our nature, which is why slavery is an aberration. What is it that allows a person to debase and torture another soul without ever thinking, what if this were me?
Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), a seething plantation owner who's a kind of diabolical psychologist of sadism.-Owen Gleiberman
Edwin has a consuming obsession with Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o), the slave whoIt will be a travesty if 12 Years A Slave doesn't win for Best Picture, Chiwetel Ejiofor for Best Actor and Steve McQueen for Best Director. There are a lot of very good movies out this Oscar season, and it's really a darn shame that 12 Years, The Butler and 42 (click for T &T posts) were all released in the same year, when normally there are no black films to be considered. Personally, I enjoyed The Butler more, however, 12 Years A Slave is on another level, and deserves to sweep up the gold statues come March 2, 2014!
"I read this book, and I was totally stunned," said McQueen about Northup's memoir. "At the same time I was pretty upset with myself that I didn't know this book. I live in Amsterdam where Anne Frank is a national hero, and for me this book read like Anne Frank's diary but written 97 years before — a firsthand account of slavery. I basically made it my passion to make this book into a film." 12 Years A Slave Wiki page
READ Owen Gleiberman CNN Review in it's entirety.
T &T's LAMB Score: 5 out 5
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