Oscar reviews: '12 Years a Slave'


It has been said, many times, that the most effective way to get nominated for an academy award for an actor, is to completely change yourself, even in a negative way in order to properly portray a character in a story.

I cannot think of a more distressful mindset to be in than that of someone who was held in slavery during the 1800s.

Many films over the years have portrayed the horrors of slavery in the southern United States and many of them have been nominated for awards for their accuracy and heart wrenching performances. “12 Years a Slave” is an incredible story that takes the horror of slavery to another level in film.

Directed by Steve McQueen “12 Years a Slave” follows the story of Solomon Northup, a free African-American from New York, who was deceived into slavery and held for 12 years.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, who played Northup in the film, was fantastic in the film. The vast range of emotions and situations that he had to create was a marvel, and made the film so mesmerizing.
Another unknown actress who shined in the film was Lupita Nyong’o, who played another slave, Patsy. Her character in the film went through some of the most harsh treatment someone could endure and her recreation of that was just magnificent.

“12 years a slave” also featured a number of well known actors. Benedict Cumberbatch, and Michael Fassbender both played major parts in the film as two of Northup’s slave owners. Other popular actors to make appearances were Paul Giomatti, Brad Pitt and Paul Danno.

All of the performances in the film were near perfect creating a world in which to sink your mind into and feel the pain of so many thousands who suffered for so many years in our nations past.
The film also garnered much critical acclaim. The film was rated a 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes by the critics and it has been nominated for nine Academy awards including Best Picture, Best director (Steve McQueen), Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender) and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o).

“12 years a Slave” is an amazing film and gives most likely the most accurate portrayal of the horror of slavery that took place in America for hundreds of years. It deserves all its acclaim and I strongly encourage all to see this film. I rate this film a 4.5 out of 5.

With the 86th annual Academy Awards quickly approaching, I wanted to let people know about the films and give a regular college students opinion on some of the more well regarded films of the past year. Check back next week for my review of “The Wolf of Wall Street.”


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