ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Review: 12 Years A Slave

Updated on January 26, 2014

This marks my first entry in my reviews of the Oscar nominated films of this year. I saw the film back when it initially came out, but held off on reviewing it. I will also most likely do an article laying out my predictions as to who will win the awards. However, back to the film at hand. This film is directed by a masterful director who in large part up until now was not a well known director. His name is Steve McQueen, and no, not the action star from way back when. Not only does it benefit from an extraordinary director but it's actor's shine in each of their roles and bring their "A" game to each scene creating a gripping story about slavery.

The plot follows Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejofor), a freeman working as a skilled carpenter and fiddle player who lives with his wife and two children in the time 1841. Two men offer him a job as a fiddle player for two weeks but instead they end up drugging him and selling him into the world of slavery. Northup is shipped to New Orleans while also being renamed "Platt", the identity of a runaway slave from Georgia. From this point he is sold from slave-trader Theophilus Freeman (Paul Giamatti) to a plantation owner by the name of William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch). Under Ford, Northup proves his worth with his skills as a carpenter and a fiddle player. However, while being under the approving eye of Ford, this puts Northup in danger from Ford's racist carpenter John Tibeats (Paul Dano). Tibeats begins to verbally abuse Northup and when he is eventually upstaged in Northup's superior carpenting skills, Tibeats attacks him and hangs him in the garden where he clings on so desperately for dear life until Ford comes to save him. This horrible event leads to Ford selling Northup to another slave dealer who is a bit of a tyrant named Edwin Epps. (Micheal Fassbender)

Epps believed it was his god-given right to abuse his slaves as he saw fit and he frequently did if they did something that he deemed unworthy. He required his slaves to pick at least 200 pounds of cotton every day and if they did not, he would subject them to be beaten. A young female slave under his doting eye named Patsey (Lupita Nygong'o) who is able to pick over 500 pounds of cotton daily who Epps praises lavishly and inevitably covets lustfully. This of course, angers Epps' wife (Sarah Paulson), which leads this entire precarious situation to lead Northup to want to find a way quickly out of his predicament. While being a "good slave" under the Eyes of Epps, but through a few men he tries to get a letter out to his friends in New York to get him out of slavery.

Closing Comments

First off, the cinematography and the directing is again, breathtaking. The most breathtaking shot to me throughout the film was the wide shot angle of Northup with a noose around his neck hanging by the tree in Ford's garden. The shot was held so long leaving the audience in shock hoping that someone at some point would come up and save him from that torture. Beyond the excellent directing, the film excels on the back of the terrific performances delivered by Ejofor, Nygong'o and Fassbender. It is no shock at all that the three of them are up for awards for their work and in each respective it is well deserved. All in all it is a very good film, my only gripe would be that the pacing is a little off at times but it doesn't affect the movie too horribly.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)