12 years a slave

The true story of Solomon Northup is a wholly haunting one—a talented violinist, he was kidnapped from Washington D.C. in 1841 and taken to Louisiana, where he was sold into slavery for 12 years.  It was only a matter of time before Northup’s wrenching story was made into a biopic, and so director Steve McQueen, a master of excellent films that make audiences feel completely miserable (Hunger, Shame), has taken up the charge with 12 Years a Slave.

The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity, Inside Man, 2012), as well as Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dana, Alfre Woodard, and Garret Dillahunt.  It’s a heavily star-studded affair, and given its production/casting pedigree, its subject matter, and the following trailer, the film seems tailor made to sweep the awards season.  Check it out:

Also, given McQueen’s unflinching style, the film is likely to be a rather harrowing odyssey into the nigh-unbearable and dehumanizing world of slave-trade, meaning that, despite its Oscar-bait trailer, 12 Years a Slave is not going to be an easy film to watch.  Still, with this director, this cast, and this incredible story, it’s going to be a hard film to justifiably avoid.

12 Years a Slave is set for a December 27th release date.

What do you think of the trailer?