The Academy Awards 2014

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Best Picture

Winner: 12 Years a Slave

Other nominees: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street

Well, there are hardly any surprises here, with virtually every film commentator predicting ‘12 Years a Slave’s win. It is easy to see why there was hardly any competition at all in this category, too. With greatest respect and admiration for other nominated films, ‘12 Years a Slave’ just stands out in terms of its artistic merit and, most importantly, the impact it produces. I don’t mind if ‘Gravity’ sweeps every award out there, as long as the Best Picture goes to its most deserved contender. Arguably, ’12 Years a Slave’ is the only film in the category to which you can comfortably assign the word ‘masterpiece’. It is a great achievement for everyone involved in the production of this film, especially for its director, Steve McQueen.

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“12 Years a Slave” Review

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12 Years a Slave (2013)

Coming from Steve McQueen, ‘12 Years a Slave’ can now be comfortably described as this year’s cinematic sensation. The film, based on a self-autobiographical novel by Solomon Northup, recounting true events, tells the story of a black free man, who lives a happy life with his family in Saratoga, New York in 1841. After he is tricked, kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South, his life turns up-side-down and a once brilliant musician and an educated family man is now forced to endure the unjust hard life of a slave in Louisiana. The film is very truthful to Northump’s novel, and is filled with so much realism and outstanding acting/directing, that putting this into perspective, when Brad Pitt’s character, Bass, a Canadian carpenter, starts talking about freedom and black people’s rights at the very end of the film, we may find it hard to believe a word he says – so engrossed we have become in the political and social ideology of that time, and in black people’s lives on a plantation in Louisiana in 1840s. This is no exaggeration.

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Preview: “12 Years a Slave”

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’12 Years a Slave’ is a new film by Steve McQueen, the director who also brought us ‘Hunger’ (2008) and ‘Shame(2011). The film is based on a true story of a free black man from New York, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who was abducted and sold into slavery in Louisiana. The film portrays Solomon’s journey to regain his freedom, escaping a cruel plantation owner, Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), while at the same time striking up friendships with such people as a Canadian carpenter and outspoken abolitionist, Mr Bass (Brad Pitt). According to many polls around the world, Steve McQueen’s ‘12 Years a Slave’ is an early frontrunner for the Oscar Award 2014, along with Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler’, David O. Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ and the Coen Brothers’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’.

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“Shame” Review

Shame (2011)

Directed by Steve McQueen (‘Hunger’ (2008)) and starring Michael Fassbender, ‘Shame’ is a bold, beautifully shot film about a high-paid office worker in New York, Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender), who suffers from sex addiction. While Brandon is able to shuffle work and (his idea of) play reasonably successfully on a daily basis, his routine starts to spin out of control, and his life priorities are put to the test, when his younger sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), decides to pay him a visit and stay for a few days in his apartment.

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‘Shame’ Soundtrack

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