Continuing my review of the Oscar nominations, I watched “12 Years a Slave”. Considering how many nominations and wins it received I had high expectations. To which, most were met. I am curious how much of the book was altered for the movie script. But I haven’t decided if the book is something I would enjoy.
One part I found puzzling was how the story, told from the male’s point of view, chose to focus on the women slaves. I mean, did Solomon not make one male slave friend? All the men he spoke too, on any personal level, were white. It almost made me wonder if the other male slaves disliked him. I think that aspect would have been nice to show and should have been explained. I could easily see the other slaves disliking him, because he did seem to convey an air of, “I’m better than you”.
The only acting in the movie that I didn’t like was Brad Pitt. The role he played didn’t seem to fit into the rest of the movie and I couldn’t shake the feeling that the role was created just so he could be in the movie. He shows up, and is finally the guy who tells Solomon’s family what happened to him. I get that maybe the writers wanted the event to seem surreal, but I still think Brad Pitt could have done a better job with his acting. His only hesitation about defying the masses was a line about, “this will put my life in danger too” followed by an anticlimactic, “but I’ll do it.” Which only makes his character more perfect and less believable. Obviously being a producer for a movie has perks, such as being able to cast yourself into the “savior” role.
And I am not alone in my assessment. “Brad Pitt giving himself that part was like if [Annapurna Pictures founder] Megan Ellison had cast herself as the SEAL who shot Bin Laden at the end of Zero Dark Thirty.”
Thankfully his role is short. Overall the movie is worth seeing, it’ll make you cringe and face a reality that I don’t think I a lot of Americans want to accept as something that really happened in our history.