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Posts Tagged ‘12 Years a Slave’

My Take on the Oscars 2014

In Awards on March 3, 2014 at 6:20 pm

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What. A. Year. and what a great collection of films. In the past, I have commented on films that have won, that I know, and films, that have lost, that I know, which sadly, leaves a few categories out of my critique. However, it would be pointless for me to comment on a film or category that I knew nothing about so, I will continue to offer my opinion in this fashion and if you don’t like it….well I’m sorry.

The Winners!

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey

First off, can I comment on the year that Matthew McConaughey is having/will have with “True Detective” of course. It appeared as though he needed to shed those 40 or so pounds to shake off that terrible rom-com type-casting that appeared to be all he could do. Now he’s in it. With such films as “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Killer Joe” McConaughey has found that if you put him in something dark and gritty, he will excel and I wish good fortune upon him because I think he totally deserved this win. Yes, Leonardo could have finally gotten a win, but sadly, this year was just not his and I agree with this. I’ve seen both films but agree whole hearedly with the Academy’s choice.

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave

Totally deserved this win. Amazing story, beautifully filmed, and incredibly well-acted. There wasn’t even a chance for the other films and I’ve seen nearly all of them. “12 Years a Slave” tells a heart wrenching TRUE story of a freed slave who strives for his own freedom. It is a beautiful devastating film and absolutely deserved this win.

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave

If Jennifer Lawrence won for this, I would have given up all faith in the selection criteria for the Academy. Seriously. She deserved this. Every single person in that audience knew it, I knew it, and if you see this film, you’ll know it. Astounding performance by raw actress.

Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

Now I know there was a lot of hope that Barkhad Abdi would take this award, but if you’ve seen “Dallas Buyers Club” you know Leto deserved it. He became his character, auditioning for the role in drag, and totally sold the audience on his struggles as well as his strength. Leto displayed an aspect of his abilities I have never seen before and absolutely deserved this award.

Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years  A Slave

Without a doubt. Those lines appeared authentic and powerful. They were delivered with charisma that was unmatched by any other contender. Granted, the actors bring that to the screen, but the lines themselves must be powerful. They must move you, bring chills to you. These lines did it, without a doubt.

Best Original Screenplay: Her

I have to say, I’m glad Spike Jonze walked away with something because, given the competition, I didn’t think he would walk away with anything. “Her” was a powerful movie about an interesting and original topic and I believe that this man, who started out with “Jackass” and filming music videos, deserved this win.

Gravity for just about anything that has to do with the technical aspects of filming

Have you seen this film? No? Well you should see it, in IMAX 3-D. You will be trasnported to space and you will be on the edge of your seat. I’m serious. From start to finish this film was a fantastical adrenaline rush that really made you strive with the character. Such a beautiful and frightening film

The Losers:.

Sandra Bullock Best Actress for Gravity

People either love her or hate her and in “Gravity” I loved her and felt that just like, McConaughey, she deserved some recognition for a number of terrible movies she’s done in the past. I also feel that she deserved some credit for the amount of work she put into that film. I would imagine it isn’t easy reacting to debris that isn’t actually there but she did it quite well. That being said, I did not see “Blue Jasmine” but will have to view it to see what the fuss is all about.

Steve McQueen for Best Director for Twelve Years a Slave

Sydney They Call Me Mr. Tibbs Poitier was presenting the award. A man who broke the racial barriers in Hollywood and filmed a fantastic thriller in an area in which racism still prevalent, during a time in which racism was still prevalent. And he could have presented the award to Steve McQueen a man whose movie describes the struggle of a freed slave against the tyranny of the white slave owner. This was the perfect setting and yet, sadly, it didn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Gravity” but I believe that the setting was perfect for McQueen to take this award home.

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Chiwetel Ejoifor Deserves an Oscar For This Film.

In Movies on November 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm

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If he doesn’t win one, Michael Fassbender should. So should Steve McQueen, so should Hans Zimmer. This movie deserves as much recognition as it should get because not only is it a film featuring great actors portraying the best of their work, it also depicts a raw and disgusting topic occurring in a beautiful and picturesque setting. I’ll explain more about what I mean, later on in this review.

“12 Years a Slave” stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup a free African American in the 1800s who is tricked into slavery. Directed by Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave” offers an unflinching depiction of slavery that is incredibly difficult to watch while also keeping the audience’s attention locked. Solomon begins his slavery with Mr. Ford, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is the best among slaveowners, which isn’t saying a lot. Reading scripture on Sunday and doting upon his slaves, Solomon appears to have a decent life while working under Mr. Ford. However, things quickly run amiss when Solomon encounters Mr. Tibeats, played by Paul Dano, who will not be usurped by a slave and will use any incident to beat one. Things quickly become heated between Mr. Tibeats and Solomon and Mr. Ford transfers his debt, and thus his slave, to a Mr. Edwin Epps, played disgustingly well by Michael Fassbender, and his wife Mistress Epps, played gut-wrenchingly well by Sarah Paulson. Mr. Epps is a known slave beater and uses every instance he have to mock, hit, or rape any of the slaves that he owns. While there Solomon meets Patsey, played by Lupita Nyong’o, who is the subject of Mr. Epps’s infatuation because she is his best cotton picker and because she is a female. Solomon struggles throughout this film, to remain unseen and thus unbeaten while also trying to find those who can help him top freedom. It is a terrible story and a true one at that.

See. This. Movie. Ejiofor owns the screen and has many shots that simply are of his face in which he shows what an astounding actor he is. It is tear-jerking how he shows the misery that Solomon was facing while also portraying his hope that he will someday break out of his chains. Michael Fassbender is unrecognizable in his role. He is unlike any villain I have seen before, who is just cruel beyond measure. Sarah Paulson is equally unrecognizable in her role as the mistress as she vacillates from one extreme emotion to the other in the blink of an eye.

The cinematography was incredible, often juxtaposing the terrifying cruelty that existed within this place with these beautiful scenic shots. One shot, don’t worry I won’t spoil it, is absolutely disgusting while also beautiful. This shot must have been incredibly difficult to make just for the sheer toll it must have taken on the collective psyche of this filming crew.

Which brings me to my next point. This film must have been hard for everyone involved. Hard for the filmmakers, the actors, the editing staff, as well as the composers. It was so beautifully done and such a tragic film that if it doesn’t walk away with several awards, I don’t believe in the Academy anymore.