For some movies the Best Actor is what makes or breaks a movie. For me it is the performance that is what I'm looking for. I don't care if you have a box office name or that the person is a nobody. This happened this year for me in this category. I wanted to lean to Matthew McConaughey for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club but I had to go with Chiwetel Ejiofor in '12 Years a Slave'. The performance that he brought to the screen was outstanding. This is some of the best acting that has been done in years. The man deserves this award and I hope and pray I'm right. Below you will find a review of the movie.
'12 Years a Slave' - In the year of our Lord 1841, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was a free man with a family. He lived a comfortable life as violinist in Saratoga, New York. This is a true story.
Solomon was to be drugged and sold as a slave. He would take the name Platt and would end up in New Orleans and sold to the highest bidder. In the beginning he would work for a kind man by the name of Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch). Running into trouble with an underling of the man named Ford he would be sold to a man named Epps (Michael Fassbender). It would be under Epps that Platt would be treated with cruelty, jealousy, and eventually downright hatred. Epps would read the bible by day to his property and by night he would rape the women.
Mistress Epps (Sarah Paulson) had such a hatred of the Negro she would incite her husband to beat them until they were almost dead. A slave herself in a sense, Mistress Epps had such jealousy of her husband for his taking the black women to bed that she would fill such rage in her husband that he almost whipped his favorite slave to death.
Platt was found out to be able to play the violin and would be lent out to others for dances and such. He could never have told anyone what he was and how he came to be there. He just couldn't trust anyone with that information. For to be a slave let alone a knowledgeable one could mean immediate death.
He would eventually cross paths with a Canadian Abolitionist by the name of Bass (Brad Pitt). Bass had found himself in tough spot and was working off a debt. The two men would work side by side and one day Platt would tell Bass how he got to be a slave. Bass would eventually write a letter to some of Platt's Yankee friends with the hope that he would be allowed to be a free man once again.
As I said this is a true story written by Solomon Northup himself. It tells the story of just how insane slavery was and all that was done to the black man in the United States. Director Steve McQueen brings to us a riveting tale of cruelty, sadism, and what would be called today a crime against humanity. It shows just how this country was built on the backs of others. This is a must see movie to be viewed by all.