12 Years A Slave is nominated for all the awards and talked about with huge praise. Well sorry, but having just seen it, I have to disagree. It's 2hrs 13mins of hardship.
We have seen powerful films in the past that have dealt with injustice and suffering, films like Schindler's List, The Color Purple, The Killing Fields etc., but all these have managed to get across the horror and suffering whilst keeping me engaged. Unfortunately, 12 Years was just suffering.
I felt the film really dragged. Much has been written about how Steve McQueen is very brave to hold shots for a long time. The film is littered with shots that linger for an age while little or nothing happens and I say that if you notice that a shot is long then it's too long and doesn't work. Surely if this was a good thing you wouldn't notice it. I noticed it, and noticed it and noticed it.
I was so pleased when Brad Pitt showed up, not just because he is always good to watch but his role is that of a saviour and believe me, at that point the film needed a saviour. He has a line that sums up the film "Yours is an amazing story but not one point of it is good".
The final scene really killed it for me. This man has been away 12 years and when he meets his family does he run crying into their arms? No. Does he whoop, laugh and shout with joy? No. He sadly stands and meekly asks their forgiveness for his shabby appearance. Arghhhhh!
I cry at movies. I am an embarrassment as I cry that easily. Guess what? Not a tear. For a movie that deals with the horror of slavery that's a terrible thing.
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