12 years a slave surprised me. As I had read lots of reviews that said that this was a very hard film, I thought I would see explicit violence everywhere, and in fact I did but not in the way I imagined. You don't cry, I could say that when you finish the movie you could think it wasn't as dramatic as I thought but when afterwards you start to think carefully of what you've seen, you know that this is a brilliant movie that it's going to stay with you for some time, at least, and that you're going to remember.
This film is a masterpiece full of amazing performances starting by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender and ending with the supporting actors. They do masterly performances. The cinematography is stunning as well, the photography, the script... the entire movie. As for the story, it is not very complicated or original, despite the fact is based on real events; a free, cult, black man is captured and sold as a slave. As he has never been a slave his perspective of life is different than from the other slaves but this, in a cotton camp, causes you lots of problems. Solomon, the protagonist, works and tries to save his life without despair because he knows that this is the only way to get out of all this.
Steve McQueen shows the spectator how cruel and hard the life was on those places, showing the lashes, the wounds, the feelings, the hopeless people....And those close-ups he uses to show it are really amazing. But one of the most remarkable scenes showed how Solomon was hanging, trying to stand on his foot into the ground and anyone helps him, all the negreos continue their life as if nothing had happened. Really stunning.
To finish off - what it could be a never ending ode - I noticed a parallelism with Schindler's list by Steven Spielberg. In the Schindler's list film, Amon (Ralph Fiennes) is in love with a jew girl, Helen. In 12 years a slave, Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) is in love with Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o) and both of them are mistreated by the men.
Nominated for several Golden Globes this could, and probably it's going to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, among with Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor (M.Fassbender) and some more. A must see, for sure.