No longer must Chiwetel Ejiofor suffer the slight of being labelled an “up-and-coming” actor. His performance in 12 Years a Slave ensures that he can trade in that tired soundbite and replace with another: “one of the best actors of his generation”.
Neither lesson nor lecture, this dignified slave drama is easily one of the strongest films of recent times. While the grave of Solomon Northup remains a mystery, this masterpiece serves as a beautiful eulogy to his ugly story.
Steve McQueen has delivered on blood and sweat. It will be you who supplies the tears.
The definitive film on its subject matter. There’s already Oscar buzz surrounding 12 Years a Slave, and rightly so. It shouldn’t just win come March. It should devour the whole season.
CAST: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lupita Nyongo’o, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt
DIRECTOR: Steve McQueen
WRITER: John Ridley, Solomon Northup (book)
SYNOPSIS: Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery.