The second half of 2013 is loaded with Oscar worthy films. 'Lee Daniel's The Butler', 'Prisoners', 'Gravity', 'Captain Phillips', and now '12 Years a Slave'. This film has to be the most heart-stopping film about slavery even though its setting is not wide at all. Most films about slavery such as 'Amistad' or the TV miniseries 'Roots' contained deep emotional moments that horrified audiences, now McQueen makes this stunning adaptation to do the same, but also teach many about the struggling years of Solomon Northup. This is the film that will raise McQueen's popularity in his filmmaking career.
Based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life.
After seeing this film, I wondered what's next for McQueen and what will he take on. It makes me happy for the fact that he has many more films to come, and the majority will honestly make me cry or strike my heart. Even his previous film, 'Shame', nearly made me weep. It's only because McQueen is realistic when filming a movie. He comes up with these beautiful shots, the way it's all edited and put together, and including his long dramatic scenes that go on for so long that it just feels like a hand grabbing my emotions and squeezing. It's perfect since McQueen is not a person for censorship. He is all out realistic. There's a whipping scene later in the film that is extremely violent and nerve wrecking. My audience cringed and I saw a woman just leaving the movie, covering her eyes because of the violence in that scene. But it is good to have a very violent scene which is just as realistic as what it's based off of. Like rarely a war movie is realistic, but a film like "Black Hawk Down" was. Realism is the key element that makes a movie perfect.
The performances and the screenplay were perfectly mixed in. This film reveals that Steve McQueen is one of the best directors when it comes to connecting with the audience. The emotions bond to you like a popular television drama, because of how you connect with the characters. It's really the best film of the year so far in my opinion. I can't think of one that might top it, I love it that much. I recommend it to anybody who enjoys these, but I do warn for the violence and the torture sequences if it gets you too much. But hey, I loved it all the way. I'm the MovieWiz, thanks for reading.