However, be forewarned that this is NOT an easy film to watch!
Set in 1841, 12 YEARS A SLAVE tells of black musician Solomon Northup, a free black family man with two children living the middle class life in Saratoga Springs, New York.
His living hell is about to begin.
Accepting a trip to Washington, D.C. with two entertainers traveling through town becomes Northup’s nightmare, as their get-together over food and wine—lots of wine—turns into an horrendous life changer for him.
Was he drugged or poisoned?
Whatever, the end result was the same. He’s abducted and trafficked to Louisiana where he’s sold into slavery.
This is a story of the inhumane cruelty Northup endured in his new day-to-day existence. Human bondage and despair in the big screen adaptation of Northup’s own (then) best selling book of 1853.
With 12 YEARS A SLAVE , British director Steve McQueen graphically takes us into one of the darkest chapters in American history unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as the free black man turned slave, gives a skyrocketing career performance guaranteed to earn him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
But the Oscars probably won’t end with Ejiofor in what is one of this year’s best cast films.
There’s Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Alfre Woodard, Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender as the dark spirited plantation owner for Academy members to consider.
Furthermore without McQueen’s flawless direction we wouldn’t be cheering on this excruciating true story of inner strength.
Make no mistake, the brutalities, aggressions and obsessions laid bare in this moving motion picture will surely also propel it for consideration in the Academy’s top category: Best Picture.
A story of 12 years of despair, endurance and the perseverance to survive.
And in the end, at the inspiring reunion with his family—in Northup’s own words: “I apologize for my appearance. But I had a difficult time these past years.”
The film opens this weekend in Kansas City as a limited three theater engagement.
Mentally and emotionally draining 12 YEARS A SLAVE—co-produced by Brad Pitt—ranks the coveted ‘A’-score.
(Reviewed at AMC Ward Parkway Theatres.)
Catch my reviews Friday mornings on radio at 6:40 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on KMBZ FM & AM’s Jack Goes To The Movies / And anytime on Time Warner-Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411.