Yesterday, on October 12, 2013, I went to go see an advanced screening of "12 Years A Slave" at California State University Northridge. My initial thoughts and opinions of the film beforehand were of great stature and very high. After viewing the two hour and 40 minute odyssey I can easily say that, in my opinion, this very much will be the best movie of 2013 for many reasons. First off let me applaud for the incredible performances portrayed by Chiwitel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, and the rest of the movie cast. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Chiwitel is a force to be reckoned with and his performance as Solomon Northup, free man kidnapped and turned to slavery, is the epitome of my statement. Michael Fassbender delivers one of the strongest performances in his career as Edwin Epps, a slave owner, and certainly shows his versatility as an actor. New to the stage is the Kenyan actress, Lupita Nyong'o and her brilliant performance as Patsy, a slave bound to Edwin Epps. These three actors will no doubt receive multiple nominations and praise for their performances and maybe even an Oscar nod.
Beyond the acting is the brilliant Hans Zimmer scoring the film. Although he is more known for his gripping and intense scores for The Dark Knight and Inception, as well as his Oscar-winning score for The Lion King, Zimmer uses a beautiful theme extracted from the song, Journey to the Line from The Thin Red Line. With this theme, he orchestrates it through string quartets and piano and creates a melancholy and sometimes heart-wrenching mood for the film which fits perfectly. The directing for the film was done by Steve McQueen, another newcomer on the rise to greatness indeed. Not afraid to send messages, he is known for films that stir an audience and leave them wondering. His previous films, Hunger and Shame both contained subject matter that is not necessarily addressed as much as it should be today. Again, Steve McQueen brings to a light a very dark period for America and one of its gravest mistakes. The film releases on October 18th and is certain to draw attention to itself with the wonderful ensemble of actors it contains. A movie like this must be heard around the world for what it contains. This is not another slave movie. I say again, this is NOT another slave movie.