Saturday, September 7, 2013

Film Review: 12 Years a Slave Leaves Another Festival Audience Shaken

Toronto: ’12 Years a Slave’ Leaves Another Festival Audience Shaken

Toronto: ’12 Years a Slave’ Leaves Another Festival Audience Shaken

Toronto: ’12 Years a Slave’ Leaves Another Festival Audience Shaken
Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” came to Toronto on Friday night, and it left audiences in the same state they were in after it screened in Telluride last week: drained, shaken and on their feet cheering.
Playing to a standing ovation at the Princess of Wales theater, the Fox Searchlight release had no trouble continuing the momentum it had gained in Colorado. The movie, based on the true story of Solomon Northrup, a free black man from New York who in 1841 was abducted and sold into slavery, is as formidable as Telluride reports indicated — a brutal, scorching and unflinching work that is hard to watch and will no doubt be harder to forget.

In the Q&A that followed the screening, McQueen responded succinctly to the question of why he chose to tackle a subject that hasn’t been covered in many serious films.

“It was a no-brainer,” said the British director, whose previous films were “Hunger” and “Shame.” “I just wanted to see … that history, that story on film. It was important and obvious. It’s that simple.”
Added Brad Pitt, who appears in the film and also served as one of the producers through his Plan B production company, “Steve is the first to ask the big question — why have there not been more films about the American history of slavery? It was the big question, and it took a Brit to ask it.”

Also read: ‘12 Years a Slave’ Stuns Telluride: Do We Have an Oscar Front-Runner?
As for the graphic scenes of beatings, floggings and hangings, breakout star Lupita Nyong’o said, “It was hard to go there, but it was necessary.”

A huge crowd jammed the sidewalk across the street from the theater, though a few seemed to be laboring under the misapprehension that because a huge banner for “Gravity” hung over the marquee, they might see George Clooney or Sandra Bullock climbing out of a town car or festival SUV. They were happy to make do with Pitt, Michael Fassbender, certain Best Actor nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor and others, and the scene reinforced that it’s not opening night that really matters in Toronto, it’s Friday.

While the opening night film, Bill Condon’s “The Fifth Estate,” was a solid drama with an outside chance of figuring into the awards race, TIFF’s first-night slot is not typically occupied by a major Oscar movie, (Past occupants of the spot include last year’s “Looper,” the U2 documentary “From the Sky Down” and “Score! A Hockey Musical.”)
Also read: Toronto: Julian Assange, Roger Ebert Share Spotlight at Festival Opening
But Friday is a different story. The Night 2 slot is where “Argo” premiered last year, “The King’s Speech” before that.
“12 Years” wasn’t actually the night’s biggest gala – a block away from the Princess of Wales, in the larger Roy Thomson Hall, Jonathan Teplitzky’s “The Railway Man,” with Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, made its debut and left festival-goers in the post-screening crush comparing notes about the films. (Both got sidewalk raves; TheWrap will have a report on “The Railway Man” later in the festival.)

The post Toronto: ’12 Years a Slave’ Leaves Another Festival Audience Shaken appeared first on TheWrap.
Related stories from TheWrap:
The Scene at the Toronto Film Festival: Parties, Panels and People (Photos)
'12 Years a Slave' Stuns Telluride: Do We Have an Oscar Front-Runner?

1 comment:

  1. reviewnya good :) gonna read the latest movie reviews, can be saved directly to happy watching :)