I have never been a very patient person, but after watching Steve McQueen’s (Shame) 12 Years a Slave, my patience has been humbled. Its an obvious metaphor, but Solomon Northrup’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Children of Men) story of living (not just surviving, but living) is the epitome of how hard life is.
I can’t and don’t even want to imagine how hard it would be to kidnapped for 12 years and thrown into slavery. The pain on Solomon’s face is undeniable and the truth in everyone in the movie’s performances is extremely evident. Beyond Ejiofor’s Oscar-worthy performance, Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness), Paul Giamatti (Win Win), Brad Pitt (World War Z), Paul Dano (Prisoners), and Sarah Paulson (Mud) play a slew of impressive supporting roles. Each of them influences the life of Solomon in one way or another (negative and positive).
Michael Fassbender (Prometheus) brought a whole new kind of insanity to an antagonist. Fassbender is a big favorite of mine and I believe that this performance is the one that will win him his first Oscar. I don’t think any supporting performance come close to the grit and lunacy portrayed by this man as a slave owner.
Fassbender makes Solomon’s journey one of patience and teaches us that life isn’t worth living if you aren’t patient.
By: Jonny Havey | Editor-in-Chief