12 Years a Slave: Rapturous reaction in Telluride

Twitter again erupts in praise of another likely masterpiece. Two days ago we got dazzled reaction from Venice festival-goers about Gravity. Tonight, 12 Years a Slave has stunned those in attendance in Telluride.

@AwardsDaily Another powerful collaboration for McQueen and Fassbender. They make magic together. #Telluride

@MrDanZak 12 YEARS A SLAVE = Masterful rendering of intolerable cruelty Standing O for McQ, Ejiofor, Pitt, Fass & stunning Lupita Nyong’o

@csoberanis7 12 YEARS A SLAVE is a startlingly realized period drama, maybe the best movie ever about slavery

@AskDebruge: Not 1 wrong note in #12YearsASlave ensemble; Chiwetel Ejiofor and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o are all but assured Oscar noms

@wadeiscompton “12 Years a Slave” just solidified its position in the Oscar race with a standing Ovation out of Telluride.

@ChrisWillman “12 Years a Slave” stars Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor do a Q&A at #TFF40 just now. Ejiofor: likely best actor winner.

12 Years A Slave to debut at New York Film Festival

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12 years a Slave: Ain’t got time to die


  1. ScottishJellyfish
    August 30, 2013

    Called it when the trailer first came out. This is a film to contend with. Ejiofor’s performance looks to be in the lead this season, and everyone is commenting on how the rest of the cast is uniformly excellent.

  2. rufussondheim
    August 30, 2013

    Hopefully this isn’t often standard over-enthusiasm. After all it’s hard not to be a bit emotionally whipped into a froth at a “surprise” screening when the filmmakers and cast are present.

    But nice to see the one tweet about Lupita Nyong’o assured of a nomination, I went out on a limb months and months ago predicting this, moreso to get her name in the mix, and to see it as a real possibility, well, it’s gratifying.

    On a tangent, been watching Louis CK’s show and there was Adepero Oduye guest starring as the black cashier Louis follows home the one night. She was properly good and I’m hoping that her role in 12 years is meaty enough that she can get a nomination too.

  3. phantom
    August 30, 2013

    Great, after a strong first half, this year seems to be getting better and better. Also worth mentioning : Prisoners premiered – somewhat surprisingly – to rave reviews, as well. Hugh Jackman is definitely a strong possibility now for a consecutive Best Actor nomination even if the category is massive this year. Could he pull a ‘Firth’ ? Previous year’s runner-up going all the way ? I guess his film would need at least a BP nod first. For what it’s worth, his role reminds me A LOT of the one that garnered Sean Penn his first Oscar. The Academy could love another father with a vengeance like that.

  4. phantom
    August 30, 2013

    Also kudos to Rufus,I remember when he called Nyong’o back in like February.

  5. Bball_Jake
    August 30, 2013

    I really want Prisoners to win Best Picture! And right now I dont see why it couldnt. I see huge potential just from the trailers, I’m dyin to see it.

  6. August 31, 2013

    rufussondheim, February 21, 2013

    The role of Patsy is likely going to be a breakout for the ages and Lupita Nyong’o has that part. It is a fully three-dimensional character with a wide range of emotions. She will have lots of scenes with Michael Fassbender and they promise to be outstanding.

    rufussondheim February 21, 2013

    Of the two women I mention Adepero Oduye will break your heart in the first half and Lupita Nyong’o will break your heart several times in the second half. And you will learn to hate Sarah Paulson, she just might be the most evil of them all.

    rufussondheim, January 15, 2013

    Whether the Academy embraces it is beyond me, but I do expect four performances to have Oscar stamped all over them even if the the overall greatness of the film is not recognized. They are Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Adepero Oduye and Lupita Nyong’o.

  7. Curtis1986
    August 31, 2013

    Anybody who thinks 12 years a slave will not be a huge Oscar hit is out of their mind. These are not great reactions and are outstanding reactions to the film.

  8. steve50
    August 31, 2013

    I’m with you with regards to remaining cautious over the initial reception, Rufus.

    We fans of McQueen’s work have been straining at the leash since this project was announced a long time ago (right after Shame) in the hopes that he could bring his style and skill to a great story.

    The first tweets are heartening, but we all know the reactions to his first two films. This means that the general public has either had some sort of epiphany of acceptance or that McQueen has adhered more closely to the Oscar colouring book – or a bit of both.

    I’m thrilled that the first reaction is so positive, especially after discussing the possibilities between us for so long, but we need to get the reactions from an unsurprised audience/critics at TIFF and NYFF, plus see it for ourselves.

    But it sure is gratifying to see the initial reaction, which I was not expecting.

  9. August 31, 2013

    Best Actor:
    Chiwetel Ejiofor
    Idris Elba
    Michael B Jordan
    Forest Whitaker

    Best Supporting Actress:
    Lupita Nyong’o
    Adepero Oduye
    Octavia Spencer

    Let’s have it!!

  10. August 31, 2013

    Next Friday at TIFF, I will be watching TYAS with my own eyes and I know that as excited as I am about this film, I’m also a little unnerved because Steve McQueen doesn’t F around. He tells it like it is, he shows it like it is, and the brutality of this film is necessary to depict the accuracy of those times. I’m sure this will be a strong Oscar contender especially since he and Fassbender have all been but ignored from their first two brilliant collaborations.

  11. Pete
    August 31, 2013

    Oscar historians, how many black screenwriters have ever been nominated let alone win?

    The inevitable Drudge/Fox blowback to this film will be truly disheartening.

  12. JP
    August 31, 2013

    Thats great news and this made me question… Was there any time in Oscar history in which 3 African American were nominated in the same category in the same year? Its definitely looking viable to happen next year.

  13. The Jack
    August 31, 2013

    “Oscar historians, how many black screenwriters have ever been nominated let alone win?”

    Geoffrey Fletcher was the only black screenwriter to win, and that was for “Precious” back in February 2010.

  14. August 31, 2013

    Also, Lonnie Elder III was nominated for writing Sounder (1972); Spike Lee was nominated for writing Do The Right Thing (1989); and John Singleton was nominated for both directing and writing Boys In The Hood (1991).

  15. Jeremy
    August 31, 2013

    “@Tom_Shone 2h
    12 YEARS A SLAVE (A-) is neo-brutalist, compassionate stunner, more Haneke than Hollywood, stand-outs from Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong’o”

    I do like the Haneke over Hollywood comparison, as a fan of McQueen’s work I thought that trailer thought he might be going conventional for Oscar glory. Sight unseen of course, but I have a feeling this will be much better than the Butler, but will be a much harder sell to the Academy. Critics love it, but who cares what they think, right?

  16. rufussondheim
    August 31, 2013

    From the three reviews I’ve read (only two of which were really reviews) it seems the film is loaded with longer tracking shots. As a result the cruelty and suspense in those scenes of cruelty will only be heightened. And don’t get me wrong, these are scenes of cruelty that go beyond what we’ve seen before. If you found it difficult to bear Denzel Washington’s abuse in Glory then don’t see this film.

    I think this film will simply be too powerful to ignore. One thing I hope I’m wrong about is what events the film chooses to not include. The trial of the perpetrators of the kidnapping will likely not be included, but in many ways, it’s the biggest outrage of all.

  17. rufussondheim
    August 31, 2013

    Oh, and, thanks Ryan for highlighting those quotes, but it was remarkably easy to say. All one had to do was read the book and know that McQueen would be smart enough to hire a talented actor for the part.

  18. Bryce Forestieri
    August 31, 2013

    I’m completely confident that this is the real deal and not another case of people sobbing after surviving induced seizures just to predict nominations for Helena Bonham Carter and sing-like-an-angel Eddie Redmayne. I’m actually more excited about the tweets that rave the movie and don’t immediately translate that to Oscar success.

    Having said that…

    Best Picture
    Best Director
    Best Actor
    Best Supporting Actor
    Best Supporting Actress (?)
    Best Adapted Screenplay
    Best Editing
    Best Cinematography (?)
    Best Original Score (?)
    Best Production Design
    Best Costume Design

    So that’s 9-11 nominations pretty much in the bag. Are there other films out there that could potentially score as many if not more nominations? THE MONUMENTS MEN and/or AMERICAN HUSTLE. Bare with me, I’m just playing one aspect of finding a frontrunner

    So McQueen and Cuaron for October huh? And we’re hearing the very the kind of things I wanted to hear about PRISONERS and LABOR DAY –turning out to be a splendid year.

  19. Bryce Forestieri
    August 31, 2013

    He had me at Haneke. I wonder if he can tell how so fucking different the two filmmakers are…

  20. Christophe
    August 31, 2013

    Not happening – 12 YRS = Django 2 – Eddie Redmayne got robbed and HBC should’ve won long ago, but the Academy can’t appreciate genius.

  21. Pete
    August 31, 2013

    Thanks for the Oscar history refresher. Gotta feel great for John Ridley.

  22. ScottishJellyfish
    August 31, 2013

    There’s no doubt this film is going to be a stunningly brutal portrait of a man struggling with the powers that be. It more than likely will end up being one of the best films of the year (same as Hunger in its respective year). The only thing that I’m cautious about is the fact that Hunger exposed the same sort of ethnocentric stain in the history of a country with startling brutality, and it was almost completely shut out from the BAFTAs. Granted, it was McQueen’s first feature length film.

  23. August 31, 2013

    I dunno, man. I think the shock would kill Sasha.

  24. August 31, 2013

    Paddy and Antoinette, how about this.

    Flash forward to March 2, 2014

    The nominees for Best Actor are:
    Chiwetel Ejiofor
    Idris Elba
    Michael B Jordan
    Forest Whitaker
    …and Robert Redford

    Jennifer Lawrence rips open the envelope…
    …and reads the name of the nominee who’s not a black guy.

  25. steve50
    August 31, 2013

    “It’s one of the names I can pronounce!!” she blurts.

  26. John Oliver
    August 31, 2013

    Suzanne DePasse was a co-nominee for Lady Sings The Blues in 1972

  27. John Oliver
    August 31, 2013

    In all my years following the Oscars have I seen the best actor race so crowded, and we’re only

  28. John Oliver
    August 31, 2013

    Never in all the years I’ve followed the Oscars have the best actor race been so contested. And we’re only 3/4ths of the way. I feel that only 2 of the 4 black actors being mentioned will make the final cut.

  29. superkk
    August 31, 2013

    im glad its contested? that means..and -wishful thinking- that those that deserve the nominations should get them this year. dont get me started on last year but yeah. heres hoping the best of the best and rightfully so get nominated. still rooting for octavia spencer and forest whitaker though!

  30. John Oliver
    August 31, 2013

    Ryan, that might be possible. I had the same scenario in my head because this seems like, in the case for Robert Redford, when the Academy rode right along with Jeff Bridges.

  31. Ted
    August 31, 2013

    After seeing ALL IS LOST, I really don’t think Robert Redford is in contention for the win. Bruce Dern, however, is a force to be reckoned with. Loveddd NEBRASKA.

  32. Natasha
    September 1, 2013

    If all this buzz is to be believed, we might have one of the best Oscar races in a LOOOONG time…..or at least a few “selected” films pumped into the pipeline of Academy Voter’s minds plus a BUNCH OF REALLY GOOD flicks in addition the “select few” to see on the big screen or via streaming….to look forward to….

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