One of the most anticipated films coming up for this awards season is Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. Up until now, we had heard a lot about it and had seen several images, but had yet to see an actual trailer for the film. Well, today that’s finally changed as the first full-length trailer has finally dropped giving us a good long look at one of the contenders that could be picking up some Oscar gold next year.
While the trailer does look impressive in terms of its emotional power, my one point of concern for the film is that the story seems to be another generic “slave fighting for freedom” tale. The synopsis for the film says as much and reads as follows:
12 YEARS A SLAVE is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.
Don’t get me wrong, it still looks like it will be quite good, I’m just hoping that there’s a little more to it than the synopsis and trailer would have us believe.
What will determine whether the film sinks or swims will be the cast involved, and from the looks of it, there’s not going to be much of a problem there. The incredible-looking ensemble features Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Brad Pitt, and Alfre Woodard. On this basis alone, I’m sold on seeing it.
The film comes to us from from director Steve McQueen, who gave us the critically-acclaimed Shame just two years ago. That was a film I wasn’t crazy about, but it was a great showcase for Fassbender’s skills, which we’ll see on full display once again when McQueen’s latest feature comes out later this year.
12 Years a Slave will be hitting the festival circuit first, so at least we’ll know what to expect well ahead of time. Then we’ll all finally get a chance to see it when it hits theaters in limited release on October 18th.
Are you excited for McQueen’s latest project? Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think in the comments!
(Source: The Film Stage)