12 Years a Slave reviews

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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:57 pm

Also, while it's definitely true that a second Oscar for Jennifer Lawrence could be comsidered by many Academy members "too much, too soon", it's possible that, for someone like Nyong'o - young, "exotic", first-time actress - an Oscar, now, could also be considered "too much, too soon". She has, of course, the advantage of being in a probable Best Picture winner, and a Best Picture winner which won't get too many other Oscars - this always helps. And is she beautiful? If she is, this also counts, especially in this category. But if the performance isn't obviously "great" (by Academy standards, I mean) her winning or losing will seriously depend on the competition.

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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby Eric » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:57 am

flipp525 wrote:Woodard's performance, in particular, seemed to suggest an entire other film in which her character is explored (in just one scene, mind you).

This. Woodard's performance is astonishing in the depths she manages to convey in one single scene. Rather easily the most impressive performance the film contains, to my tastes.

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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby Cinemanolis » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:11 am

I also expected more from Nyong'o considering all the hype surrounding her performance. But she is a trully supporting performance. She was very good but i would not single her out. Even though she seems to be the frontrunner, the supporting actress race could turn up to be one of the most interesting ones.

supposing that the nominees are

Nyong'o
Squibb
Lawrence
Roberts
Winfrey

I can't imagine Roberts or Lawrence winning and with Winfrey in the race, i can also see June Squibb as a major threat.

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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby flipp525 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:07 am

mlrg wrote:In my book she is completely one note, but probably I’m on the insane part of this debate

I just can't imagine seeing that performance and coming away from the film thinking it was one-note. I mean, just...no. That truly baffles me. You should probably see 12 Years a Slave again because you obviously missed something pretty crucial.

I thought all the female supporting performances (even the cruel work of Sarah Paulson - which I'd call the only performance even approaching one-note in the film) were all nomination worthy including Nyong'o, Alfre Woodard and, as dws cited, Adepero Oduye. Woodard's performance, in particular, seemed to suggest an entire other film in which her character is explored (in just one scene, mind you).

Beatrice Straight will haunt you from the grave for this "she only had two scenes" nonsense. Straight has one scene (as well as an add'l 30 second spot) in the Network and deservedly won an Oscar for it.

I agree with Italiano that this race seems to be shaping up into something rather interesting. At the beginning of the season, I thought that Nyong'o would simply bulldoze through the competition and become the Octavia Spencer, Mo'Nique or Anne Hathaway of the season (in essence, a candidate virtually unopposed).

Btw, I'm not sure why Jennifer Hudson is being brought into this discussion. There is no comparison between the two performances or actresses.
Last edited by flipp525 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby mlrg » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:52 am

In my book she is completely one note, but probably I’m on the insane part of this debate

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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:31 am

Bog wrote:.please cue Italiano reminiscing our yearly debate over American Idol to Oscar path if we want to talk ridiculous.


It may have been ridiculous, but this board collectively - and enthusiastically - supported it, and what's even worse, still does.

I haven't seen 12 Years a Slave yet, so really, I can't comment on this. But of course it's true that, when it comes to Supporting Oscars, it's not about the number of scenes, but about the quality, the intensity of the performance. What some seem to imply here, though, it's that it's a one-note kind of performance, which of course could be more problematic (though one could say that even one note, if well executed, can be award-worthy). Unfortunately, I will have to wait till February to know...

But I kind of like this. After all, it makes Best Supporting Actress a more interesting race than it seemed to be only two months ago. If Nyong'o is more divisive that I thought, and with Lawrence's otherwise very solid chances clearly diminished by the fact that she has won so recently before, the outcome might be quite umpredictable - even more than Best Actor, the only other acting category which could be even slightly suspenceful.

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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby Bog » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:31 pm

OscarGuy wrote:And why are we complaining about a supporting performance not being a borderline lead one?


Big huge second from me! Thank you OG for bringing sanity to this debate...I guess I tend to be more attracted to exactly these type of "how many scenes did they even have" roles...specifically if they resonate most with viewers no matter the size or screen time. One scene or 7 or 8...this hardly qualifies as ridiculous...please cue Italiano reminiscing our yearly debate over American Idol to Oscar path if we want to talk ridiculous.

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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:07 pm

And why are we complaining about a supporting performance not being a borderline lead one? Half the time people act like an actor has to have dozens of scenes to be considered a supporting player. Half the time people bitch about borderline leads in supporting roles. You can't have it both ways.

I think Nyong'o plays a very critical narrative point for the development of Ejiofor's character. Perhaps he would have gotten to where he did without her, but she's a key element to that, which would be by most accounts the definition of a supporting player. She has several scenes late in the film and her character's treatment at the late-night hoe-down, along with her free treatment with the neighbor, the soap scene and the whipping scene are all significant scenes, not instant throwaways. I'd rather have three critical, emotionally-relevant scenes than three pointless scenes that have no impact on the film at all.
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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby dws1982 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:18 pm

Even if you count that as one scene, she still has at least seven or eight scenes that I can think of, and she certainly offers a good bit more than crying on cue. I thought that Adepero Oduye was excellent as well, and I fully expect both to make my year-end list. Two very different--but in my opinion, very vivid--portraits of women trapped in slavery. It may be hard to name individual scenes from Nyong'o's performance as some type of proof of what makes it great...but that final scene as she says goodbye to Northup and then fades out of view has certainly stayed with me, and I think that says a lot about what Nyong'o channeled into the rest of her performance.

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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby ksrymy » Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:03 pm

mlrg wrote:
flipp525 wrote:
mlrg wrote:- If Lupita Nyongo' wins the oscar for this it will go down in my book as one of the most ridiculous wins ever. She has two scenes of which one of them is just screaming at being whipped.

Interesting. I hadn't heard such a facile reading of her performance until now. (She has more than "two scenes" by the way.) Do others agree? I feel like there was a lot more going on there, including that heartbreaking scene when she begs Solomon to kill her late at night. And her pleading with her master to let her wash herself. It wasn't just a bunch of screaming on cue.


Well, the scene when she is being whipped is preceded by her begging to be washed (where she has like three lines) and it's all the same scene.

I, too, was disappointed, and I share many of the same feelings as you especially on Nyong'o.

However, I think Fassbender and Paulson are fantastic. It's the script's fault that they are so one-dimensional. I mean, how many dimensions can a brutal slaveowner have? We're not supposed to sympathize with him, but the movie would have been infinitely better if we did have those other dimensions.

Ejiofor was the one truly redeeming quality. He gives a great performance.
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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby mlrg » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:39 pm

flipp525 wrote:
mlrg wrote:- If Lupita Nyongo' wins the oscar for this it will go down in my book as one of the most ridiculous wins ever. She has two scenes of which one of them is just screaming at being whipped.

Interesting. I hadn't heard such a facile reading of her performance until now. (She has more than "two scenes" by the way.) Do others agree? I feel like there was a lot more going on there, including that heartbreaking scene when she begs Solomon to kill her late at night. And her pleading with her master to let her wash herself. It wasn't just a bunch of screaming on cue.


Well, the scene when she is being whipped is preceded by her begging to be washed (where she has like three lines) and it's all the same scene.

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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby flipp525 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:18 pm

mlrg wrote:- If Lupita Nyongo' wins the oscar for this it will go down in my book as one of the most ridiculous wins ever. She has two scenes of which one of them is just screaming at being whipped.

Interesting. I hadn't heard such a facile reading of her performance until now. (She has more than "two scenes" by the way.) Do others agree? I feel like there was a lot more going on there, including that heartbreaking scene when she begs Solomon to kill her late at night. And her pleading with her master to let her wash herself. It wasn't just a bunch of screaming on cue.
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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby mlrg » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:14 am

Well, probably my expectations were too high, but this turned out to be one of the biggest dissapointments of the year.

Few thoughts:

- Pretty uneven plot and script structure. Actually one might only feel that 12 years have gone by after Solomon is reunited with his family (and the terrible make-up used to age his wife).

- All characters are absolutley one dimensional, specially Fassbender and Paulson.

- The movie lacks any emotional connection with the viewer. We know that Solomon is groing to be free in the end so McQueen just focus the 12 years on torture. I also think that McQueen is sometimes trying to hard to be Terrence Mallick (side note: I consider The Tree of Life the best film put to screen since Barry Lyndon)

- By no means this is to slavery what Schindler's List is to the Holocaust. It just doesn't have the greatness of Spielberg's film.

- If Lupita Nyongo' wins the oscar for this it will go down in my book as one of the most ridiculous wins ever. She has two scenes of which one of them is just screaming at being whipped.

And this will win best screenplay over Before Midnight? Really?

I give this 3.5 out of 10

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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby flipp525 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:58 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:I have very little time or energy to see a movie anymore, let alone write about it. But someone here has got to be a full-fledged champion of this film, and I'll be glad to do it.

I was championing this film and its performances in this very thread back in mid-October.
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Re: 12 Years a Slave reviews

Postby Okri » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:49 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:I have very little time or energy to see a movie anymore, let alone write about it. But someone here has got to be a full-fledged champion of this film, and I'll be glad to do it. Except for a few uneven moments (mostly in the first 30 minutes) and performances, I thought this was extraordinary work. Fierce, heartsick, provocative without hectoring, it practically spits outrage at the U.S., at the free-market system taken to its logical means-justifies-the-ends extremes, at the rationalizations and false comforts of religion, at the thievery of identity and personhood. And all throughout, the film maintains a very high level of sophistication, visually, tonally and thematically. Yeah, this is the real thing, and not just a film to reflexively appreciate for its intentions. I'm looking over some of the criticisms that have been given here, and I have to disagree - in fact, I'm a little puzzled - with most (not all) of them..... but that will have to be for another time, if ever. Maybe there are better films than 12 Years a Slave that I just haven't seen yet, but I would be very happy if this won the Oscar.


Yeah, though I had no problems with the first 30 minutes (my only issue comes from the Brad Pitt scenes, which are a tad too inelegant).


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