First Reactions To 12 Years A Slave From Telluride

12 Years a slave

One of the films that’s been sitting high atop many awards list for this year has been Steve McQueen’s upcoming 12 Years a Slave, and that was before anyone had even had the chance to see it. Well, now that’s changed with the film having had a “secret” showing at the Telluride Film Festival where a few critics were in attendance. Take a look at what’s being said thus far about the film:

12 YEARS A SLAVE is a startlingly realized period drama, maybe the best movie about slavery ever. So help me, Ejiofer deserves that Oscar. – Eric Kohn, Indiewire

12 Years a Slave – Phenomenal. A profound cinematic achievement on every level. Filmmaking at its finest. Chiwetel for Oscar. It’s his. – Alex Billington, First Showing

Powerful 12 years a slave appropriately brutal with a stunning turn by Chiwetel Ejifor which should earn him a best actor Oscar. – Gregory Ellwood, Hit Fix

Sad & ghastly as the story is, “12 Years A Slave “ is a humanist masterpiece & a slamdunk Best Picture contender right out of the gate. – Hollywood Elsewhere

12 YEARS A SLAVE = Masterful rendering of intolerable cruelty. Standing O for McQ, Ejiofor, Pitt, Fass & stunning Lupita Nyong’o. – Dan Zak

12 YEARS A SLAVE (A-) is neo-brutalist, compassionate stunner, more Haneke than Hollywood, stand-outs from Fassbender, Ejiofor, and Nyong’o – Tom Shone

And we thought the reactions to Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity were really good. It looks like many may have made the right call early on and that we might really have a genuine Best Picture nominee on our hands with McQueen’s latest, in addition to a strong contender for Best Actor in Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Way back when the trailer premiered, my main concern was that it looked like a rather generic slave tale, but these reactions point to it being anything but, which certainly lifts my anticipation for the film to much higher levels. With a cast that also includes Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt and Alfre Woodard, I would hope something special would emerge. From these passionate responses, it’s starting to look like it has.

The film is scheduled to play at TIFF early next month, so it won’t be long before we get another batch of reviews. Just like with Gravity, hopefully we’ll continue to hear nothing but great things.

12 Years a Slave finally arrives in theaters on October 18th.

Now that we’ve had the first reactions, how excited are you for the film? Let us know in the comments below!

(Source: The Film Stage)