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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Paulson’

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.

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A Substance That is A Combination of Both Dirt and Water

In Movies on June 6, 2013 at 10:28 am

ImageAlso known as Mud!

I was able to catch this movie with my mother, who agreed to see it because she wanted to annnnd because she wanted to get me out of the house for a surprise graduation party.

“Mud”, directed by Jeff Nichols, stars Matthew McConaughey,  as Mud an individual on the run determined to reunite with his lover Juniper, Reese Witherspoon, despite the potential life threatening situation that both of them may encounter. Determined to meet her and stay on the low-down, Mud makes his home on a deserted island where he encounters Ellis, Tye Sheridan, and Neckbone, what an awesome name, Jocob Lofland. These two boys are determined to have the boat that Mud is living in or get the pistol that he is wiling to trade them, IF they help him build the boat. Ellis is instantly accepting of Mud while Neckbone is a bit more concerned with who this individual is. This acceptance is mainly due to Ellis’s current situation in which his parents Mary Lee, Sarah Paulson, and Senior, Ray McKinnon, are separating, because getting a divorce is much too expensive.  Determined to prove that love is tangible and possible, Ellis decides to help Mud and Juniper reunite despite life threatening danger.

Wow. This movie currently has 99% on rotten tomatoes and it deserves every damn percentage point it gets. Acting. Incredible. Story. Fairly original. It’s a combination of many things, Stand By Me, with a love story, but I mean what movie isn’t a combination of other movies and/or themes.  Wonderful cinematography.  Just a beautiful beautiful story.

 

Tye Sheridan’s performance is worth mentioning because of how good he is ANNNNDDD how he manages to hold his own alongside such big wigs as McConaughey and Sam Shepard. His performance was extremely moving as well, allowing the audience to incorporate his own hopes and dreams alongside theirs. Even a jaded audience member, such as myself, wants to see love truly thrive in the end. Why can’t it be like that? Why? He also hits the notes with precision, Sheridan shows the audience his anger, his hope, his joy, as if he is really Ellis. Some of the best scenes with Ellis involve him just staring off in the distance. Hoping. Believing.

Matthew McConaughey’s performance does involve him taking off his shirt, however, it is applicable in this movie. His southern drawl is like a smooth glass of whiskey in this movie. Seriously, him saying “Hell of a thing….” just gives me chills. The monologues he delivers were just awe-inspiring, ranging from the protection his shirt offered him to his youthful days with Juniper. I really think that if McConaughey continues selecting roles like this he will only get better and probably garner a few Oscars as well.

Jacob Lofland as Neckbone also delivers. He had the posturing, the accent, and the execution of a rural southern boy. He became this logic ridden realistic kid who was willing to go along with Ellis, knowing full well that love doesn’t always play out in real life as it does in the books. I felt like I could really relate to this kid. He was steadfast and strong, loyal as a dog, and fairly smart. He just knew the right thing to do and did it and when he encountered something awful, he took it for what it was and didn’t become emotionally distraught, rather he acknowledged it and moved forward.

If you want to catch a movie off the beaten path with actors who bring it and a story line to boot, check this movie out. You really won’t regret it