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12 Years a Slave’s Rave Reviews

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Now that 12 Years a Slave is about to open in theaters, the reviews are pouring in. With a Metacritic score so far of 93, 12 Years a Slave, were it not the tinyest bit divisive, would pass Gravity’s score of 96. But there is a small minority of critics who drag it down. Even with those, 93 is higher than most films this year.

Manohla Dargis at the New York Times writes:

“12 Years a Slave” isn’t the first movie about slavery in the United States — but it may be the one that finally makes it impossible for American cinema to continue to sell the ugly lies it’s been hawking for more than a century. Written by John Ridley and directed by Steve McQueen, it tells the true story of Solomon Northup, an African-American freeman who, in 1841, was snatched off the streets of Washington, and sold. It’s at once a familiar, utterly strange and deeply American story in which the period trappings long beloved by Hollywood — the paternalistic gentry with their pretty plantations, their genteel manners and all the fiddle-dee-dee rest — are the backdrop for an outrage.

Owen Gleiberman at EW, gives the film a solid A, writing:

It’s Ejiofor’s extraordinary performance that holds 12 Years a Slave together. He gives Solomon a deep inner strength, yet he never softens the nightmare of his existence. His ultimate pain isn’t the beatings or the humiliation. It’s being ripped from his family, blockaded away from all he is. 12 Years a Slave lets us stare at the primal sin of America with open eyes, and at moments it’s hard to watch, yet it’s a film of such emotion that in telling the story of a life that gets taken away, it lets us touch what life is.

TIME’s Richard Corliss:

These sprawling farms are no Tara — they are gulags — and 12 Years a Slave stands as a fierce refutation of the genial racial stereotypes on display in the Margaret Mitchell novel and David O. Selznick’s movie version. Indeed, McQueen’s film is closer in its storytelling particulars to such 1970s exploitation-exposés of slavery as Mandingo and Goodbye, Uncle Tom. Except that McQueen is not a schlockmeister sensationalist but a remorseless artist. The scenes of black flesh peddled by venal salesmen do not excite; they repel. And repellent is the word for the slave trader Theophilus Freeman (Paul Giamatti), who encourages potential customers to prod the merchandise and check their teeth like horses.

Bill Condon Interviewed for the Fifth Estate

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London Film Festival: 12 Years a Slave

97 Comments

  1. cyrus
    October 17, 2013

    Correct me if I am wrong but that picture has Thandie Newton with Chiwetel Ejiofar.

    Is that the picture from Half of a Yellow Sun?

    Lovely picture though !!

  2. CC
    October 17, 2013

    It is. I was going to comment on it myself.

  3. rufussondheim
    October 17, 2013

    The overall total of 100′s is more important than the assigned number, after all it is always #1 votes and #1 placements that determine the winner. If 5% of the voters despise a film and bring down its statistical average, well, that doesn’t mean a damn thing.

    And while we don’t have all of the reviews for 12 Years, it looks like it might have the slight edge in the 100′s race.

    And with all things equal (as they mostly are) I still have to think that 12 Years has the edge because it’s more prestigious and more serious. It will be hard to deny it (especially since the first black director to win narrative will also come into play)

    And for those who are wondering, here is a good article from Slate.com detailing the factual accuracy of the film. I think this is an important article because it will prevent a “whisper campaign” suggesting that the most effective scenes in the film were made up.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/10/17/_12_years_a_slave_true_story_fact_and_fiction_in_mostly_accurate_movie_about.html

  4. Simon Warrasch
    October 17, 2013

    The Best Picture Winner of 2014! For sure!

  5. Squasher88
    October 17, 2013

    Umm…why is there a picture of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’? Haha.

  6. Bryce Forestieri
    October 17, 2013

    Even though I’ve read the book and know everything that happens, still have zero desire to read reviews.

    Another thing I avoid before watching the films: Reading and/or watching interviews with the filmmaker and cast, I’m aware there’ve been quite a few priceless Steve McQueen moments on the trail. I’ll check them out after November 1st.

  7. Kane
    October 17, 2013

    It’s at 94 with 13 perfect scores. Even ol’ Rex Reed is gushing over it.

  8. October 17, 2013

    13 scores of 100 out of 20, so far. If that ratio holds, 12 Years a Slave could end up with more than 25 perfect scores of 100.

  9. Kane
    October 17, 2013

    *It’s at 94 NOW.

  10. Bryce Forestieri
    October 17, 2013

    after all it is always #1 votes and #1 placements that determine the winner

    I don’t think that’s how it works with preferential, like mathematically speaking.

  11. October 17, 2013

    But I think what rufussondheim means is if the ballots match up at all closely to what the critics are saying — with 24 ballots with 12 Years at #1 for every naysayer who puts 12 Years at the bottom — then the scant percentage of low votes won’t weigh heavily in the preferential redistribution.

  12. Bryce Forestieri
    October 17, 2013

    If 5% of the voters despise a film and bring down its statistical average, well, that doesn’t mean a damn thing

    Could be true. But if 75% of AMPAS sort of like, more ore less love, really like, not quite love but really enjoy, etc say SAVING MR. BANKS and then place it at #2 or #3, and in addition to that it receives a healthy amount of #1′s, it could topple 12 YEARS A SLAVE if the amount of #1′s it receives isn’t as astonishing as you’re expecting, it could also miss it for a few tens if the race is close. Nothing seem to indicate it’ll be close but I think that’s how it works. Finally, 100′s at Metacritic don’t even loosely project #1 placements on AMPAS ballots, at least not in this reality.

  13. Bryce Forestieri
    October 17, 2013

    I see what you’re saying. Where’s our math guru?

  14. October 17, 2013

    erps. fixed. fanx.

  15. Vincent
    October 17, 2013

    Everyone is gushing (Rex Reed included) because today if you don’t like a film like this, you’re automatically a racist.

    I look forward to seeing it and hope it lives up to the hype. I still think “Gravity” has Best Picture in the bag.

  16. benny tarleton
    October 17, 2013

    High praise indeed from REX REID …it was Rex who tipped us off that LINCOLN would not win Best Picture , regardless of D D LEWIS’S epic performance , when he called it a ”colossal l bore ”…it was unfair but still indicative of why Lincoln lost to a more accessible crowd pleaser like ARGO

    The fact that Rex is raving about it is just mere confirmation that this Oscar race is already over

  17. benny tarleton
    October 17, 2013

    You’re clueless dude …GRAVITY aint winning sweet F A outside of the tech awards …Gravity winning Best Picture ?..you must be a space cadet to believe such rubbish

  18. Kane
    October 17, 2013

    Or maybe…just maybe…he believes the film is actually amazing. Since when does Rex Reed care what other people think about him? I’d hate to believe perfect scores are coming in for this film because critics are afraid to rate it poorly. That diminishes the compliments it’s given.

    On a side note, he gave Lincoln a 50 last year, one of the lowest scores for the film.

  19. benny tarleton
    October 17, 2013

    The movie is far more sanitized and less gruesome than the actual book ..for example , in the book a young runaway slave was hunted by the rednecks with a pack of dogs and when finally run to ground was literally torn apart by the ferocious hounds like a wild animal

    Also , if you read the book , Northup was very , very , VERY fortunate indeed to escape , as like his master said ”If I had but one hours notice that this was going to happen I would have hid this slave in the swamp where you could never of found him ” !…indeed , searching for one black man in that wilderness would have been impossible

    And furthermore , Northrup had legality on his side , but there is the Law and then there is the enforcement of the Law and THAT can be two completely different things

    Even when Northrup was being taken to freedom , his apoplectic master was galloping for help to organise a posse to ambush them before they reached the ferry …if was in fact a series of very fortunate coincidences that finally allowed Northup to regain his freedom

  20. Kane
    October 17, 2013

    Gravity winning best picture isn’t a stretch of the imagination. Will it win? Who knows. You can’t come out and say, “NOTHING CAN BEAT 12 Years a Slave, duuuude! CLUELESS :farts:!” Stranger things have happened than a critically acclaimed film (with more perfect scores than almost any film out there) winning the coveted award. The Academy likes what the Academy likes. They’ll probably end up voting for McQueen’s vision of slavery but you can’t call the winner and then everyone else dumb for having their own predictions. Remember when Crash won picture? Adrien Brody winning actor? Precious winning a. screenplay? That ZD30/Skyfall sound split? To me it’s more foolish to make a guarantee than a prediction when it comes to this lot.

  21. October 17, 2013

    we’re going to need to get used to benny tarleton’s sledgehammer style

    but hey, benny tarleton, at some point you might please try to dial back your ramrod aggression, ok? that’s not how the community here works. nobody likes a loud clown. whether you’re right or not.

  22. benny tarleton
    October 17, 2013

    But you’re another one with poor political instincts

    Race in America will always be an explosive issue , even while lying dormant it’s like a pool of gasoline just waiting for the spark of ignition …12 YRS a slave is just such a spark …the explosive subject matter of this movie has already blown the competition out of the water
    Furthermore , it’s simply inconceivable that 12 YRS wins best picture , but not best director when no black man has ever won

    Ejiofor will probably ride to victory on the wave of success of the movie , but not quite a sure thing

  23. Aragorn
    October 17, 2013

    I am looking forward to seeing this movie very much (hopefully tomorrow). My only concern for this movie (including its lead actor and supporting actress) when it comes to Oscars:

    If AMPAS voters are like what we always assume (old, mostly white and men, even though it is changing but slowly), then how many people would vote for 12 Years a Slave and its actors and even its director when there are some other well-made and well-received movies with Black directors and/or actors in them (i.e. The Butler and Fruitvale Station)? I wonder if there will be split among those movies, assuming that the typical AMPAS member will not vote for those three movies at the same time? Or those who would like to see a Black actor /director to win an Oscar now will have multiple contenders? What if some vote for the Butler some others vote for 12 Years a Slave for Best Director? That may cause a split between those voters and someone else can easily get nominated or even win instead, even though McQueen seems much stronger right now…. The same is also true for Best Supporting Actress race. It seems that we may have 3 Black Actresses as strong contenders (including the great performance by Octavia Spencer). Then in case of a split vote, none of them may end up winning. The same thing can be said about Best Actor race…I think an interesting year is here and it will be interesting to see it.

  24. benny tarleton
    October 17, 2013

    Fair enough …I shall now struggle mightily to be Dr Jeckle instead of Mr Hyde

  25. October 17, 2013

    hey, benny t, I like your passion! Just that things will hot up enough around here as the season wears on (lord knows I have my snappish days myself) but let’s try not to burn down all the contenders save our favorites until at least the traditional Day of Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth when nominations are announced.

  26. Kane
    October 17, 2013

    How do I have poor political instincts? I never said, “12 Years a Slave will never win best picture.” My point is that surprises can occur and something else can win. Just because it’s an important movie doesn’t mean it WILL win. There are thousands of people voting and you don’t know all of their tastes. By your logic Do the Right Thing, The Color Purple, The Butler and Fruitvale Station have all won best picture…oh wait. Also just because “no black man has ever won” doesn’t mean McQueen will lose the award. Up until The Hurt Locker no woman had ever won best director.

    Plus if you’re going to assume I have no “political instincts then I’ll assume you know nothing of the word “inconceivable.”

  27. julian the emperor
    October 17, 2013

    It annoys me slightly that many commenters seem hellbent on 12 Years winning because it’s an “important” movie, rather than a good one. If I’m averse to one thing when it comes to awarding artistic merit, it’s to keep politics and “importance” out of the equation. I just don’t think “importance” belongs in a discussion of the Oscars. Yes, of course, we would all like – on some abstract level – to see movies of both narrative and aesthetic relevance (rather than merely Oscar bait) win the coveted prize, but relevance to me is something other than awarding a film merely for its importance (importance has very little to do with quality judgments, whereas relevance might).

    I can understand why many Americans in particular root for 12 Years and want it to succeed (mainly because it’s a merciless depiction of a historical evil that needs to be addressed until the lesson is learned), but why the need to feel so protective about a film most of you haven’t even seen yet? Don’t you want to see it with your own eyes before you declare it to be the rightful winner? You might think the movie sucks when you finally get to see it. Then what? Does it still merit the Oscar because it’s “important”?

    I’m not addressing anyone in particular, in this thread or any other thread. I have just noticed a tendency to speak of 12 Years like it’s the deserved winner, sight unseen. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m just too sensitive when it comes to the hype of certain movies. I like to see them with my own eyes before I care to hope for them to win or do well at the Oscars.

  28. John Oliver
    October 17, 2013

    Ejiofor has to fight off 3 veterans to get the award, Redford, Hanks, and Dern.

  29. Kai Lor
    October 17, 2013

    The thing is I donot see all 3 veterans getting in though and if they do would they not basically be going for the same voter demo? Best Actor is just crazy crowded. In addiiton to Dern, Hanks, & Redford we have Phoenix, McConaughey, Isaac and Ejiofor not to mention with Bale & Leo potentially still joining the conversation. Basically there aren’t really any locks at the moment. Anyone can miss out but if I had to pick anyone I would pick Ejiofor just on the basis that of all the current contenders he has the film with the most heat currently.

  30. julian the emperor
    October 17, 2013

    Well, maybe that’s to his advantage, you know? Three veterans canceling each other out…

    I think at this point Ejiofor looks like the one to beat based on the reviews out of the fall festivals and the supposed frontrunner status of 12 Years. But if Dallas Buyers Club takes off when it premieres (it’s at a whopping 85 on metacritic as of right now!), I could easily picture McConaughey taking the lead. Losing weight for the part, playing an AIDS victim, being overdue for serious reconsideration etc…

    At the end of the day, the most special occasion would no doubt be to see Redford on that podium, at 77, for an acting performance. He would gain a standing ovation of unprecedented magnitude. A truly special Oscar moment. If voters sense that Redford has a shot after the lions’ share of critic’s prizes have been dealt, I could picture him gaining a strong momentum in the last two months of the race. The sentimental value of his win is almost too hard to resist, probably (unless 12 Years makes a complete sweep, that is – if Dujardin could win for The Artist, Ejiofor can sure win for 12 Years!)

    But it’s safe to say that it’s down to those three…Redford, McConaughey, Ejiofor.
    The rest of them will merely fill out the category: Hanks, Dern, Phoenix, Bale, Isaacs, whomever.

  31. benny tarleton
    October 17, 2013

    Well I have read the book but haven’t seen the movie , and have read the reviews of numerous critics who have , and they have convinced me that it is indeed a fine movie , but let’s face it , it is the historical explosive subject matter that is giving this movie a critical and decisive advantage over it’s competitors

    It is in fact , as if some time travelling film maker went back to 1850 to document the dark secret in the so called ”Land of the Free ” and then presented it to us as an expose ~of the gruesome sin of slavery …”We are here to bear witness for those no longer living ” !

    What other movie can possibly compete against that ?…what other movie has the gravitas , the emotional and moral outrage , or the sense of injustice ?

    The largely white audience should feel outrage , burning injustice , empathy , sympathy and collective white guilt …after all , that would only be human

  32. Tony
    October 17, 2013

    I have to repeat this primal scream of mine:

    I am *pissed* that “12 Years a Slave” will not be opening in the Bay Area this Friday. WTF?! (Even next Friday is still TBD, although at least “All Is Lost” is already scheduled.) The year-round mild weather and playing third fiddle only to NY & LA are the reasons we pay through the nose to live here!

  33. Kai Lor
    October 17, 2013

    The thing is it would not be out of the realm of possibility that McConaughey misses which would of been unheard of just a month ago. Best Actor is just jammed pack and we do not even have a single lock and just a lot of strong possibilities. We can potentially have 10 equally strong contenders that will be vying for 5 spots.

  34. rufussondheim
    October 17, 2013

    I agree, the #1 placements don’t necessarily correspond to #1 placements on the Academy Ballot. But we’ve got nothing else to go on at this point.

    There is one truth in preferential balloting that everyone needs to remember yet no one ever does. If a film gets to be #1 on 50% + 1 of the ballots, it could be last place on every other ballot, that’s over 49% of the ballots, and it would still win.

    So when films like Gravity and 12 Years get over 50% hundreds on Metacritic, there’s no need to look at the detractors, they don’t really matter. So while 12 Years has a couple of middling scores bringing down its average, those ballots would never be counted if had already reached #1 on 50% of the ballots.

    Now of course if the vote is pretty evenly split between Gravity and 12 Years and it comes down to those two in the end (literally to those two as all other films get eliminated) than those last place votes do matter. But I don’[t think it will come down to that, I think 12 Years will get that 50% fairly quickly since it’s so prestigious and undeniable.

    Now, of course, Academy members are different than Meta”Critics” and, at best, it’s just an indication of what people are extremely enthusiastic about.

  35. rufussondheim
    October 17, 2013

    This post has spoilers from the book.

    I think what’s getting lost in this film/book is how emotionally resonant it is. It stays with you. It’s a true story, and unlike most true stories we don’t know how it ends. What stays in my brain when I think about the events is wondering whatever happened to Patsey. I can’t imagine she survived in the cruel hands of Epps those ten+ years until the slaves were freed.

    I think of the final goodbye between Patsey and “Platt” and how Solomon Northup must have been haunted every day about what was happening on that plantation. How can one truly enjoy reuniting with your family when you know the horror that you left behind is still continuing?

    I think over time, these questions will stay with Academy members, and it may haunt them as they haunt me. Yes, it was over 150 years ago, but the storytelling is so vital, so real. It’s unforgettable.

    Now I haven’t seen Gravity, but it’s a story of fiction, and while it may be elegant and beautiful and affecting, it’s also finite. We know how it ends. We’ll never know what happened to Patsey and the others Solomon left behind. And there’s the difference.

  36. rufussondheim
    October 17, 2013

    man, I can’t wait until all of the 12 years scores are in on Metacritic, it now has 18 of 26 perfect scores and it’s now tied with Gravity at 96, Slant Magazine reviewer be damned.

  37. Bryce Forestieri
    October 17, 2013

    If a film gets to be #1 on 50% + 1 of the ballots, it could be last place on every other ballot, that’s over 49% of the ballots, and it would still win

    Truly something to keep in mind. I try not to underestimate The Academy’s foolishness, but if the film is leaving people with an impression comparable to SCHINDLER’S LIST, and everything seems to suggest just that, getting that 50% ought to be relatively easy. Even if there is another film universally beloved by AMPAS, 12 YEARS’ importance is too great.

  38. rufussondheim
    October 17, 2013

    And all of a sudden All is Lost is getting a great score – up to 89!

  39. Tony
    October 17, 2013

    “Collective white guilt?”

    Outrage, empathy — yes. But, collective white guilt? Absolutely not. I take responsibility for the things that I myself have done, nothing more. (My ancestors weren’t even here at the time; if they had been here and involved, I would abhor them, but not me.)

  40. steve50
    October 17, 2013

    Yup. That’s the anchor to the story to me, too. It ends, but not for everyone. And if not for everyone, does it really end?

  41. Al Robinson
    October 17, 2013

    Charlie Eppes? ;-)

  42. Aragorn
    October 17, 2013

    I wish Oprah Winfrey did what she did for Emmys years ago and asked not to get nominated for Oscar this year (she already has one and doesnt need any other award in the world).. So then maybe Lupita Nyong’o may have a better chance, even become a frontrunner…Based on these reviews I have read so far, she is a lock for nod, and could still win. I hope voters will not go with the big name of O and just vote for her!

  43. Al Robinson
    October 17, 2013

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there has ever been a year where 3 or more films nominated for Best Picture have only been “limited” released.

    If releases hold, then we might have 3 this year.

    12 Years a Slave (which still is only listed as limited Oct. 18th on IMDb)
    Nebraska (which might be opening wide, or roll out at least, I can’t tell)
    All is Lost (as far as I can tell, this is staying limited)

  44. Bryce Forestieri
    October 17, 2013

    Just saw the ALL IS LOST trailer and Redford really does look magnificent. I can’t be sure of course, but he looks to be fully deserving. I’m reserving judgment on other elements briefly exhibited until I get to see the film. But for those who’ve seen it:

    Did anyone have a problem with the 2.35 : 1 decision? Did it feel unnecessary or wasted at all? And if you can keep it spoiler free, how do you think it plays thematically?

  45. Al Robinson
    October 17, 2013

    I guess I’m wrong. Nevermind.

  46. manrico1967
    October 17, 2013

    For a slightly different take on 12 YEARS A SLAVE:

    http://cityarts.info/2013/10/16/cant-trust-it/

  47. Ruth
    October 17, 2013

    The Best Director Oscar race this year is an absolute dream. McQueen is fast rising towards being my favourite currently working director, I’ve adored Cauron for years, and I love the work of Greengrass as well.

    Cannot wait to see this. Seems to be a decent contender in Picture/Director/Actor/Supp. Actor at this point (not guaranteed in any though, by a long shot yet).

  48. rufussondheim
    October 17, 2013

    repugnant

  49. benny tarleton
    October 18, 2013

    When Lincoln finally met Harriet Beecher Stowe he is reported to have said ”so you are the little woman that started this great civil war ? ” …and this was partly true as her book ”Uncle tom’s cabin ” did spark the Christian inspired conscience of white America (at least those in the North) and was one of the events that eventually led to the Civil war

    12 Yrs a slave will have a somewhat similar effect on the moral minds and social conscience of 21st C America that will spark and ignite feelings of outrage , horror and yes , white guilt …and let’s face it , those folks in Hollywood are suckers for that kind of stuff ; they’re always looking for some secular ”sacred cause ” to crusade for ….well , here it is , ladies and gentleman , I give you this seasons winner of the Oscar for best picture ….12 YEARS A SLAVE !

  50. benny tarleton
    October 18, 2013

    ”THE PAST IS ANOTHER COUNTRY …THEY DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THERE ”

    True enough , in the 19th C the American South was a wilderness immense , not unlike large areas of modern day Brazil , that was sparsely populated with settlements and where been ”sold down the river ” must have been like being exiled to Siberia by the Czar , an archipeligo of slave plantations and smaller farms connected by an artery of river highways…”abandon hope all ye who enter here ” !

    Indeed , a runnaway slave must of been like a hunted animal , with every hand turned against him, and looking for the bounty/reward for his capture …infact, it must have been similar to a Jew on the run in Nazi occupied Poland during W W 2

    Even after the Civil War ,at the turn of the century , during the heyday of ”Lynchings ” black folks lived under a climate of fear and intimidation …one wrong word , or dirty look ( especially to a white woman ) could get a black man lynched and burnt ..indeed , my only quibble with the movie is that it is too sanitized…the true reality was far , far worse !

  51. steve50
    October 18, 2013

    Almost too good to be true, isn’t it?

  52. Kane
    October 18, 2013

    Agreed. My ancestors came off the boat from Ireland in 1880 and I take responsibility for my actions and not what I feel like I have to “owe” people.

  53. Kane
    October 18, 2013

    Based on the hefty 97(!) 12 Years a Slave has I don’t think you have to be worried about Nyong’o being left out of any Oscar conversation. At this point (said in jest but not entirely) people will be looking at the whole cast. If Silver Linings Playbook can get 4 acting nominations then this can get at least 3.

  54. Kane
    October 18, 2013

    It’s like the 2011 telecast where Fincher, Aronofsky and the Coens were nominated and Boyle and Nolan just barely missed…as did Debra Granik for that matter. That was a dream slate for me.

  55. Bryce Forestieri
    October 18, 2013

    lol Damn. I can’t wait to read it. He does realize nobody takes him seriously right? Rex Reed, Armond White, Jonathan Rosenbaum, all clowns. Gotta keep that job somehow!

    p.s. He was right early on by recognizing the greatness in Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece AI: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.

  56. Bryce Forestieri
    October 18, 2013

    Danny Boyle’s SUNSHINE! Great movie.

  57. Bryce Forestieri
    October 18, 2013

    12YAS 97 with 31 reviews in!!!!

  58. Kane
    October 18, 2013

    That was for 127 Hours (a grave snub). But Sunshine is one of my all time favorite sci-fi movies :)

  59. Bryce Forestieri
    October 18, 2013

    Best Picture
    Best Director
    Best Adapted Screenplay
    Best Editing
    Best Actor
    Best Supporting Actor
    Best Supporting Actress
    Best Cinematography
    Best Original Score

    I would hope the following are locks too, but with their historically horrid taste I do not vouch for these branches –still based on faux probability I’d say at least one of the two is assured:

    Best Costume Design
    Best Production Design

    That’s 10 Locks, with 11 nominations probable. Could be a great night.

  60. Bryce Forestieri
    October 18, 2013

    I know :) I just like to plug in SUNSHINE and MOON randomly whenever.

  61. Bryce Forestieri
    October 18, 2013

    22 100′s and counting!

  62. Kane
    October 18, 2013

    Don’t forget the sound categories! I know they may appear to be a long shot but with open nature, shouting, shackles, whips and possible gunshots this could be an amazing aural experience.

  63. Bryce Forestieri
    October 18, 2013

    Truly I haven’t see the movie so I wasn’t sure, but Sound Mixing has got to be a possibility, a la LINCOLN

  64. JP
    October 18, 2013

    Schindlers List is proud of its ”son”. It.

  65. October 18, 2013

    cant wait to see it. i hope it lives up to the hype. the last time we saw all these perfect scores was The Social Network which i didnt enjoy.

  66. Kane
    October 18, 2013

    Actually the last time we saw these perfect scores was just 2 week ago for Gravity :P

  67. Bob Burns
    October 18, 2013

    any given year there are 5-10 films worthy of BP. the choice of one among them is subjective. personally, significance of the subject matter is a strong factor for me and would be were I an Academy Member.

    given the critical praise for 12 Years I would certainly vote for it, particularly given the Academy’s endorsement of the pro-slavery/klan GWTW.

    that said, I will be astonished should 12 Years be awarded by the guilds and the Academy.

  68. Kai Lor
    October 18, 2013

    12 Years A Slave is definitely a film worth waiting for. Having already seen in it Telluride and Toronto, all I can say is that it is a type of film that punches you in the stomach and never lets you go. But you just do not care, because you are just too riveted.

  69. rufussondheim
    October 18, 2013

    I think 12 years wlll make mince meat of Schindler.

  70. Max
    October 18, 2013

    Make mincemeat of Schindler’s List? Now THAT would be quite a feat, considering SL is considered by many(but obviously not Rufus) as one of the greatest films of all time.

  71. superkk
    October 19, 2013

    i cant even comment on this film considering the film is yet again still in limited release and i have no idea why. seriously what city or even state is playing this movie. i just search two different ones and nothing came up. open it wide so people can go out and see it. jesus.

  72. October 19, 2013

    12 Years a Slave is showing at only 18 theaters this weekend — 3 or 4 venues in each of these cities:

    Los Angeles
    New York
    Chicago
    Washington, D.C.
    Atlanta
    Toronto

    Next weekend it expands to these cities:

    Boston
    Dallas/Ft. Worth
    Detroit
    Houston
    Philadelphia
    Baltimore

  73. steve50
    October 19, 2013

    I hear ya. Doesn’t come up on any searches for my area, either.

    Just as well for me this weekend – can’t get away to see it for a week or so.

  74. rufussondheim
    October 19, 2013

    Luckily one of those Philly theaters is five minutes from my work so I should be able to see it Friday Night!

  75. rufussondheim
    October 19, 2013

    Just read an article on 12 Years in Forbes and it informed me (I was completely shocked in reading this) that apparently PBS already made a filmed version of this story back in 1984 and it’s available to watch online for free!

    http://www.ovguide.com/solomon-northup%27s-odyssey-9202a8c04000641f800000000900d926

  76. Bryce Forestieri
    October 19, 2013

    Fuck me. Would totally drive to Houston if I didn’t have such important soccer-viewing commitments. I don’t know anything about movie markets, but I bet it’d make much more bank in Austin than either Dallas/Houston. Again what do I know.

  77. rufussondheim
    October 19, 2013

    and it’s terrible!

    Watched a couple of minutes of the ending and my fave moment when he points and smiles at the remaining slaves as he leaves them riding a carriage.

  78. rufussondheim
    October 19, 2013

    I think you know more than you think.

    I always get annoyed at limited releases as a way to build buzz. You would think if a film wants to build buzz it would open in one theater per city a couple of weeks ahead and then those viewers would talk about it at work, school, etc.

    Me, I never casually run into someone who saw a limited release in NY or LA who can then give me word of mouth.

  79. Bryce Forestieri
    October 19, 2013

    I guess their thinking is you’re bound to know someone from there who will surely flip-out about it on Facebook/Twitter and this will lead you to see it? But yeah I like that approach of one theater per city that way more cities can be spared the wait. Cities like Boulder/CO, Madison/WI, Raleigh/NC, Austin/TX would pack the shit out that single theater and build much more buzz locally, I think.

  80. jeff
    October 19, 2013

    Surprised to see 12 YEARS pull in an average of 14K per screen on 19 screens yesterday. Back in July Blue Jasmine averaged around 100K on six screens. Is this going to be a hard sell even in the most operable locations?

  81. jeff
    October 19, 2013

    Surprised to see 12 YEARS pull in an average of 14K per screen on 19 screens yesterday. Back in July Blue Jasmine averaged around 100K on six screens. Is this going to be a hard sell even in the most advantageous locations?

  82. Jonny
    October 19, 2013

    The sound in 12 years a slave is unbelievable actually. Most people who have seen it and love film would agree.

  83. Jonny
    October 19, 2013

    Actually it made $275,000 last nigt

  84. Jonny
    October 19, 2013

    Actually it made $275,000 last night

  85. Kane
    October 19, 2013

    Oh snizzap! I’m close to Philly so which theater is it playing in?

  86. rufussondheim
    October 19, 2013

    that average for blue jasmine is for the entire weekend.

  87. rufussondheim
    October 19, 2013

    regal KOP

  88. benny tarleton
    October 20, 2013

    PBS has done some excellent docs on the so called ”black experience ” in America …….EYES ON THE PRIZE and ”Unforgivable Blackness ” ..the life and times of JACK JOHNSON , the first black heavyweight boxer ….both are well worth watching

    PS/ Billy Holliday’s ”STRANGE FRUIT” is surely the greatest song of 20th America

  89. benny tarleton
    October 20, 2013

    The Irish were some of the worst racists of all ; it’s not mere coincidence that the worst political and race riot in US history was in New York City in 1863 when Irish immigrants went on a 3 day rampage against the so called ”draft ”and their refusal to be drafted into the army to ”free the darkies ” …it was this riot that the movie ”Gangs of NY” touched upon
    Furthermore , during the civil rights era of the 1970′s the Federal government had a hell of a job trying to integrate schools in places like Boston …in some ways , it was worse than the ”Ole South ”

  90. benny tarleton
    October 20, 2013

    I don’t know about the movie , but in the book ,the carpenter (played by Brad Pitt ) who wrote the letter , had to get the hell out of Dodge , quickly , to avoid being lynched for being a ”darkie lover ” …and who could blame him as it would have been certain death to have stuck around

  91. October 20, 2013

    “The Irish were some of the worst racists of all ” — he said, sounding not the least bit racist by calling an entire group of immigrants and all their descendents racist. How about we just say there are going to be bigoted assholes everywhere without branding the whole country of Ireland or the whole city of Boston as racists? Can we try that? Thanks.

  92. Tero Heikkinen
    October 20, 2013

    Really? That’s a brave thing to say.

  93. Kane
    October 20, 2013

    Benny, I was agreeing with Tony about my ancestors coming to this country after slavery was abolished. Whether or not they were actually racist is a whole different issue entirely and you, sir, seem to have trouble staying on a topic unless it’s talking about 12 Years a Slave winning and “white guilt.” Instead of getting up on a soap box and acting like everyone in the world is wrong, or just white people in general, how about being part of the AD community and not pointing some finger at the rest of us that’s probably been buried up your own ass. Seriously dude, the posters on this site aren’t just knowledgable when it comes to film, it’s every issue so if you make a (pretty baseless) statement like you just did be prepared for a smart response.

  94. Kane
    October 20, 2013

    Oh wow I was expecting a Ritz right in the city. I’m 10 minutes from KOP. Even better!

  95. rufussondheim
    October 20, 2013

    And Cassandra Wilson’s cover is pretty damn good too!

  96. Jeff
    October 20, 2013

    Yep, 12 Years averaged 50K per screen on 19 screens for the weekend. Not shabby at all. I’m not sure the Woody Allen comparison is entirely fair – 100K per screen on six screens in July – but it does suggest esoteric + grim & uncompromising = challenge at the BO. Haven’t seen it but will on the weekend of Nov. 1. Hunger is one of the best films of the last decade (I’m less than enthusiastic about Shame).

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