Steve McQueen is no stranger to getting inside people’s minds and hearts with such emotionally harrowing tales as Hunger and Shame, but it would appear that for his latest effort, he’s gone and scanned my brain as well. Assembling a cast of some of my favourite actors in the biz currently (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano and more) for this truly remarkable story of human spirit was already enough to get me hooked, then this trailer comes out and not only is it a dramatic kick in the chesticles, but it also features a Hans Zimmer song that never fails to get my lower lip quivering.
“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) will forever alter his life.
Lee Daniels’ The Butler just got kicked out of pole position in the Oscar race, if you ask me. Not only does this look like an amazing story on its own, but with the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case still occupying the headlines, this will be eerily topical and thus score even bigger with the Academy than normal.
And then there is that cast, all of whom seem to be firing on all cylinders, particularly Fassbender (not that he even knows how to dial back his insane level of thespian skill) and Ejiofor, the latter of which may just finally now get the mainstream recognition he’s deserved for ages already.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend the rest of the day in a mewling heap of snotty tears as Hans Zimmer’s “Time” loops endlessly on my earphones.
12 Years a Slave will be set free in cinemas on October 18, 2013.
Last Updated: July 17, 2013