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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Steve McQueen Takes On The Star-Studded Slavery Narrative, '12 YEARS A SLAVE' (Trailer)

For those of you who pulled out every last strand of hair in your head (like I did) when Shame was completely disregarded at last year's Oscars may be rest able to rest with the assurance that director Steve McQueen's latest film, a slave narrative, may be exactly the Academy's cup of tea. 

Amid a saturated list of oppression dramas over the last few years comes 12 YEARS A SLAVE, a sweeping, star-studded drama that should at least catapult its main star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, to the level of stardom he deserves. Read a synopsis of the film is after the jump:

12 YEARS A SLAVE is 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) forever alters his life.”

You may remember that Fassbender starred in McQueen's Shame (and also his 2008 film, Hunger), so it's clear that McQueen--like many other filmmakers before him--has a muse. Hey, if if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? It will certainly be amazing to see Fassbender's transformation into a lead antagonist--something I don't believe we've ever seen from him, really (unless you count Prometheus).

Other A-listers among the cast include Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Sarah Paulson, Quvenzhané Wallis, Alfre Woodard and Michael Kenneth Williams. So, needless to say, this has been a highly anticipated movie that folks have been clamoring to see. From the trailer alone, the film looks like it was breathtakingly shot and certainly well acted. But we'll have to brace ourselves until we're able to watch it. I can only hope it offers a different spin on the genre that we have become all too comfortable with seeing a lot lately (the synopsis sounds like it does, and McQueen hasn't disappointed us yet).

Check out the trailer, which dropped last night:


12 YEARS A SLAVE is in theaters December 26th.


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