The achievements of a movie as monumental as 12 Years a Slave will take us years to fully appreciate. Over the next few weeks and months we’ll do our best to highlight the most stunning parts of its artistry. We’ll need to go deep to do it justice. I saw it for the first time 2 hours ago. Still in the dumbstruck phase, speechless. But elbowing its way into my head past deeper thoughts is the question of whether it’s possible for 12 Years a Slave to match the record 14 nominations racked up by All About Eve and Titanic. In order to do so, it would need to touch every branch, nearly every category. I remember reading what Harvey Weinstein said when Shakespeare in Love got 13 nominations: If only we had composed a rap music track to be eligible for Best Original Song!
Driving home, I was almost wishing the same thing for !2 Years. In my inbox I found a better answer to that wish:
Songwriter Nicholas Britell Creates Original Song “My Lord Sunshine (Sunrise)” to Reflect 1840s Spirituals and Field Songs in Steve McQueen’s Critically Acclaimed 12 Years a Slave. Britell Also Wrote and Arranged Four Additional Songs on the Film’s Soundtrack.
As the film 12 Years a Slave opens, we see a group of slaves chopping sugar cane and toiling away in the field, and we hear perfectly synchronized to their chopping, their chorus…