Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Fassbender), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Costume Design, Best Director (Steve McQueen), Best Film Editing, Best Production Design and Best Adapted Screenplay
With those nominations, you’d know this film is a winner. I am not gonna pretend I’m a critic here. I just want to say this film is brilliantly beautiful. And I’m going to tell you why, at least in my opinion.
I’ve watched Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (and I even cringed watching it). Because both films touch the same subject, I must say this is a more beautiful depiction of black slavery. And I think it is safe to say it is the most beautiful film on slavery that I’ve ever seen as of yet.
It is quite ironic to say it is beautiful, though, because of the dark topic it tackles. But it is what it is, beautiful. Sure, it is painful to watch because hey, it’s about slavery and you know at the back of your mind that this kind of shit really happened.
It is, after all, based on an autobiography of Solomon Northup, a freeborn black American who was kidnapped and was sold into slavery. He played the violin and was living a happy family life with his wife and two kids before he was subjected to pain and hard labor for 12 effing years. I couldn’t, for the life of me, imagine how painful that was.
Luckily, the talented Chiwetel Ejiofor, playing Solomon, shows us exactly that. The director, Steve McQueen, had captured it all brilliantly in this film. That, and beautiful scenes like this:
Just mere two minutes into the film, I know I already love it. Even if it is about a very significant and sensitive topic, there’s a certain lightness in watching it.
After cringing with the scene of whipping, you’re treated with a picturesque shot of this:
It’s as if the director is telling us, Sure, life can be cruel, but hey, it is also beautiful. The drama in this film is just so effective.
Every scene is refreshing. You see a group of tired and maltreated slaves walking back from a hard day’s work and their background is a cotton field under a clear blue sky with a hilly backdrop.
And then you see them on the banks of a splendid and serene bayou clapping because one of their fellow slave has impressed the boss and somehow you feel everything is all right with them.
Ah, what a wonderful treat of photography it is to watch this film! After all, a movie is but pictures in motion, right?
It’s a mystery to me while 12 YearsA Slave is not nominated for its cinematography, though, and for its musical score by Hans Zimmer. That ode to the dead scene was just heartbreaking.
I didn’t know that Paul Dano is in the film, and it was a delight to learn that. I have this long-time crush with this beautiful and talented actor, and he didn’t disappoint playing the role of a plantation boss who likes to sing and hang slaves who cross him. I couldn’t imagine another actor playing his part. And it’s a plus I discovered he can sing.
And although I knew Brad Pitt is in it, I didn’t know he’s one of the producers and his role is but a short one, albeit an integral part in the film’s development, playing Bass, the carpenter who helps Solomon to eventually be free. And Brad Pitt just have to play that role of the man in the shining armor, no? Hayaan na natin.
12 Years A Slave could bag most of its nominations because it is brilliantly beautiful including the Best Actress in a Supporting Role by newbie Lupita Nyong’o, who’s portrayal of a slave who has asked Solomon to kill her because this life is just too painful to bear.
I hope 12 Years a Slave take home a lot of trophies because it really deserves those recognitions. But it pains me to realize Leo may not be able to take home the statue again this year. Oh, Leo, I somewhat hope I am wrong.
Anyway, here’s a more legit review by The Telegraph if you’re not yet convinced that this is one great film that you ought to watch.