Acclaimed director Steve McQueen’s latest cinematic endeavor is the profound story of a man named Solomon Northrup. Northrup, portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, is a free African-American man from upstate New York whose life was taken away from him in the most unimaginable way. Northrup is deceived, kidnapped and sold into slavery. Northrup is sold to a cruel New Orleans plantation owner who practically embodies the cruelty of the slavery system in Michael Fassbender’s character, Edwin Epps. Northrup endures 12 years of cruelty, hardship and spirit breaking brutality until he encounters a Canadian, played by Brad Pitt, who could possibly change his life forever.
What am I expecting from “12 Years a Slave”?: Nothing less than an Oscar-caliber juggernaut. Steve McQueen looks to be on the path to something special and could have constructed something very profound with the incredible true story of Solomon Northrup. I enjoy a motion picture that lacks restraint in its subject matter and “12 Years a Slave” doesn’t look like it will hold itself back from anything. The ensemble including Ejiofor, Fassbender, Pitt, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfre Woodard, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o and Quvenzhané Wallis look superb and John Ridley’s screenplay looks strong. This movie has the makings of an Oscar-worthy feature.