In 12 Years a Slave, from Shame director Steve McQueen (the big, black British one, not the rugged white dead one), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Chuy, as we like to call him) plays Solomon Northrup, a free slave living in pre-Civil War New York. His life is all popcorn and bubblegum farts until ONE DAY (*record scratch*), he gets tricked by some evil-ass white dudes and sold into slavery in the deep South. See? This is why you never trust a white man trying to buy you dinner. Why is it so Oscary? Let us count the ways.
Oscary Pedigree: Directed by Steve McQueen; the cast. McQueen hasn’t won any Oscars yet, but Shame was nominated for two BAFTAs (film and actor) and a Golden Globe for best actor. An acclaimed art film director doing an epic period piece? Oscar loves that like he loves cripples and the Holocaust. (Oscar is a pretty sick puppy, turns out). Oh, and the main character plays the goddamn violin.
Oscary Cast: Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael F. Assbender, Quvenzhané Wallis, Paul Giamatti, Michael K. Williams, whoa momma.
Oscary Release Date: October 18th, the beginning of awards season.
Oscary Line: “I don’t want to survive, I want to live!”
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. [Apple]
Oscary Plot: After Django, Oscar will be stoked to get back to a movie that doesn’t ask us to laugh at slavery, and instead only requires us to be floored by the gravity of Important History, and to root for a good man against the backdrop of it all while he loves his family and plays beautiful classical music. “Hey, identifying with this man’s plight makes me feel like a good person! Give it all of the awards!”
Oscary Prediction: This is going to get some nominations unless it totally sucks. The Iron Lady got Oscar nominations solely for looking Oscary, and that movie was an insulting shitpile. I thought The Butler looked Oscary. But 12 Years a Slave makes The Butler look like a 50 Cent movie.
[Pics from Fox Searchlight via RopeofSilicon]