12 YEARS A SLAVE: THE REVIEW AND TICKET GIVEAWAY

Salty Kernel, , headed out to watch and came back a changed person, read her thoughts below on a film that is being nominated for and winning nearly every film award there is, including the illustrious 5 POPS from Kernel Dara. is releasing on January 30th in Australia, is rated MA15+ and runs for 134mins. And thanks to our great friends at , we have 5X double passes to to use at most major cinemas playing the film, Australia wide. See below Dara’s fantastic for your chance to win.

 

12 years a slave, review, dara shashoua, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong'o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Steve McQueen, John Ridly, ICON Film Distribution, Competition, Giveaway
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 YEARS A SLAVE – the movie poster

 

12 YEARS A SLAVE is the latest film by West Indian born British director, Steve McQueen (Shame and Hunger) and absolutely deserves all of the accolades and nominations that it has received.

I originally watched this film about six weeks ago, and I still constantly think about it. It’s that good, it’s that memorable and it’s simply powerful. Slavery is a subject rarely depicted in films, and I believe that 12 YEARS A SLAVE will re-educate people on exactly what happened many years ago in America. Let me tell you, it’s shocking. Please do not go into this film thinking it will be a warm and fuzzy experience. It’s not. It’s difficult to watch, it will draw a reaction from you that will stay with you for a while to come.

12 YEARS A SLAVE is a true story based upon the 1853 memoir of the same name written by Solomon Northup. Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was a born-free negro who was working as a carpenter and violin player, living with his wife and two children in Saratoga Springs in New York. It was upon a chance encounter with two men whilst his wife was away working that he was offered a two week job as a musician travelling to Washington DC. Unfortunately these men drugged and kidnapped Solomon and he was sold into slavery for the next 12 years of his life.

 

12 years a slave, review, dara shashoua, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong'o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Steve McQueen, John Ridly, ICON Film Distribution, Competition, Giveaway
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 YEARS A SLAVE

 

Solomon is renamed Platt, who was originally a runaway slave from Georgia, and is shipped to New Orleans where he is put on display with other slaves and sold by slave trader Theophilus Freeman (). William Ford (), a wealthy plantation owner in Louisiana purchases Solomon as well as a few other slaves. Upon their return to Ford’s plantation Solomon proves himself a worthy slave as he engineers a cost effective and efficient way of transporting logs swiftly downstream whereby previously they were taken over land. However, carpenter John Tibeats (Paul Dano) immediately resents Solomon and begins his abuse of the slave. This results in a confrontation between the two and Solomon ends up hanging by a noose, with his feet barely touching the ground, in the yard for many hours as punishment.

In order to save Solomon’s life, Ford does what he believes to be the right thing and sells Solomon to Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender). Epps is a biblical man and believes he has the right to abuse his slaves as he sees fit.  Each day the slaves are required to pick at least 200 pounds of cotton, with one young slave Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o) picking up to 500 pounds each day, she is rewarded for her efforts with continual rape by Epps and physical abuse by his jealous wife Mary (Sarah Poulson).

 

12 years a slave, review, dara shashoua, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong'o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Steve McQueen, John Ridly, ICON Film Distribution, Competition, Giveaway
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender in 12 YEARS A SLAVE

 

Patsey’s abuse gets to a point whereby she begs Solomon to kill her so that she may no longer withstand any further abuse. Solomon refuses her request, however one morning she has gone missing from the plantation and upon her return Epps ties her to a post and forces Solomon to whip her til she’s bloody. Solomon has no choice but to obey but eventually Epps takes the whip from him and finishes the job himself. This scene is one of the most scenes horrific in the film, and shows the absolute trust between the actors and director to have been able to create such a powerful and horrific moment.

Construction of a gazebo begins upon the plantation, Solomon is permitted to work on the gazebo alongside a Canadian labourer, Bass ().  It is during this time together that Solomon finds out that Bass is strongly opposed to slavery so Solomon confesses his story to Bass and asks that he may take a letter to his home town and Bass agrees to help him even though this may cost him his life.

 

12 years a slave, review, dara shashoua, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong'o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Steve McQueen, John Ridly, ICON Film Distribution, Competition, Giveaway
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o in 12 YEARS A SLAVE

 

It is interesting that the most realistic portrayal of slavery in America is told by an Englishman with a mainly English cast, perhaps it is this distance and lack of patriotism that has allowed the story to be told at all.  Hopefully this film will create a dialogue about slavery within America, as I believe it is part of it’s shameful past that they do not like to talk about, such as the Holocaust within Germany.

The performances in this film are unbelievable, every single person has brought everything they had to their roles.  It is testament to Steve McQueen that he is able to draw such magnificent performances out of his cast.

12 YEARS A SLAVE is a story of survival, against all odds. It is a film that everyone should see, perhaps not a film for a first date but one that will evoke a response in everyone that watches it.  I know I could not speak for a while afterwards, the only response I had was ‘Wow’.

 

JK’s POP SCORE:

4 and a Half Pops

KERNEL DARA’S POP SCORE:

5 Pops

KERNEL ANDREW’S POP SCORE:

5 Pops

KERNEL BEN’S POP SCORE:

4 and a Half Pops

 

With special thanks to ICON FILM DISTRIBUTION to win one of the 5x IN SEASON DOUBLE PASSES TO SEE 12 YEARS A SLAVE you need to Tweet us @saltypopcornau with the hashtag #OSCARWIN the answer to the following question:

What is your favourite Oscar winning best picture film of all time and why? (remember 140 characters only  ) 

If you do not have Twitter then you can put it on our Facebook wall – the links are on the Salty home page so you can get there. Or if you still have my email address then go for it.

Your passes will be sent as soon as I receive them. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this is only available to Australian residents.