12 Years a Slave is pretty much as advertised: a movie about slavery that feels pretty authentic, and is depressing as shit. It’s rough to watch and I can’t imagine ever watching it again, but it’s good.
Chiwetel Ejiofor, whose name I still don’t know how to pronounce, stars as Solomon Northup, a free man from New York who ends up a slave in Louisiana. A whole lot of random people appear in it: Taran Killam, Omar from The Wire, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Lupita Nyong’o, the gay guy from Mad Men, Garret Dillahunt, and Brad Pitt. It’s bizarre that Taran Killam is in a movie that won Oscars. I just kinda hate him. It makes me feel crappy that I only recognize a few of the black actors but like… just about every white person in the movie.
Random aside: for some reason I thought the director Steve McQueen thought it would be clever to change his name to be that of a dead movie star’s, but it’s his actual given name.