Okay Juicers, so I am doing this 30 day Film Challenge that should really give my thoughts and emotions an interesting time during the next month of quarantine. Day 4’s prompt is to choose a movie with a number in its title. So I chose a movie I had somehow never seen which is Best Picture Winner 12 Years a Slave.
*This is a true story
In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. Subjected to the cruelty of one malevolent owner (Michael Fassbender), he also finds unexpected kindness from another, as he struggles continually to survive and maintain some of his dignity. Then in the 12th year of the disheartening ordeal, a chance meeting with an abolitionist from Canada changes Solomon’s life forever.
During this time of Quarantine a lot of our freedoms have been taken away from us. It has disrupted all of our lives and makes us feel trapped on some level. However, the story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) that 12 Years a Slave follows, gives me good perspective on what being trapped and having your freedom taken away is really like.
Directed by the already great Steve McQueen (Widows) this is a story about a free man who was drugged and sold into slavery for, you guessed it, 12 years. He shows ferocious courage, immense wit, and unending empathy for everyone in his situation. All while being constantly beaten by master after master. His struggle and eventual freedom is one of the most harrowing I have ever seen put to screen. The portrayal of him as well by Ejiofor is stunning and worthy of all the praise it got.
Speaking of all those Masters, lets rate their Asshole levels shall we. (1 being not an Asshole and 10 being the biggest Asshole)
- Scoot McNairy and Taran Killam – 9/10
– These guys played the two men who drugged and sold Solomon into Slavery. They would be at a 10/10 for sure but they did not do any of the beating of him.
- Paul Dano – 8/10
– Major major asshole here as the first guy who really put beatings into Solomon. He was John Tibeats and if he only wasnt following orders than he would have been rated higher.
- Benedict Cumberbatch – 6/10
– Listen the guy owned slaves so he was obviously a major Asshole however he was nice to Solomon and gave him the most respect of all the masters in the movie. So I will give him a slight break.
- Michael Fassbender – 10/10
– 100% the biggest Asshole in the movie right here. He is raping women, beating his slaves at all times, and a dickhead to his wife (who also stinks). This was a very different role for him. When he made Solomon hit Patsy with the whip it is just incredibly hard to watch.
- Paul Giamatti – 7/10
– He was the broker basically selling slaves to the eventually owners, but he is breaking up families and just being an overall d-bag.
- Honorable Mention Sarah Paulson – 8/10
– What a horrible human in this and made it hard to look at her the same to be honest.
* A couple other tidbits
- What a look for Brad Pitt the savior!
- Lupita was fantastic in her supporting role and it is no wonder she won the Oscar for the part.
- The cinematography was amazing and made you feel like you were in the south in the mid 1840’s.
I cannot believe it took me this long to turn this movie on, but I am glad I did. It is such an important story of strength and faith and one of the best movies of the past decade. No person should ever have to go through something like this.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
*You can follow my Letterboxd account here.