Skip to content

At the movies: 12 Years a Slave

December 3, 2013

Twelve Years a Slave

Solomon Northrup was a free black man living in upstate New York before the Civil War.  He earned his living as a musician and accepted a job with a traveling show because his family was going out of town.  The men he went with drugged him and sold him into slavery.  No one believed his story so he was enslaved for twelve years, having several masters during that time – he witnessed some kindness as well as some horrific cruelty, never giving up hope that he would find his way home again.

When 12 Years a Slave came out, I wasn’t all that interested in seeing it.  I thought it would be a lot like other movies I’ve seen before.  Vance wanted to see it, though, and talked me into going with him and I discovered I was totally wrong.  This movie is based on a true story and it is disturbing yet mesmerizing. Don’t be surprised to see it win some awards.  The casting and the acting are top notch.  I haven’t done this movie justice but I think it’s well worth seeing in the theater, just keep in mind that you won’t feel good when it’s over.  There is some nudity and some of the scenes are very upsetting (I had to avert my eyes at one point) so this movie is not for the whole family.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. sandynawrot permalink
    December 3, 2013 6:16 am

    My mom and I went to see this on Sunday and loved it! It WAS disturbing but slavery is disturbing. I did not realize that this type of thing had happened. I thought it was INCREDIBLY well-acted, and with so many wonderful cameos!

  2. December 3, 2013 7:12 am

    I am scared to see this!

  3. December 3, 2013 7:47 am

    I have worried that it would be too depressing but do want to see it.
    Did you read Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye? Several of the chapter intros quote the book the movie is based on.

  4. December 3, 2013 7:56 am

    Was planning to see it over the long holiday weekend, but just never got there. Hopefully this weekend…

  5. Patty permalink
    December 3, 2013 9:28 am

    I had a feeling it would be just as you have described it to be…really good but really sad…

  6. Patty permalink
    December 3, 2013 9:28 am

    Actually probably worse than sad…

  7. December 3, 2013 11:28 am

    I have to agree with Patty’s comments. . .I’ve been hesitant to watch it because of the monstrosity slavery was. I’m glad you enjoyed it and hope I make it to see it before it leaves the theater!

  8. December 3, 2013 11:48 am

    This does sound like a worthwhile movie. Glad it exceeded your expectations. I’ve been hesitant to check it out for all the reasons mentioned but I may have to give it a try. Definitely screams Oscar contender.

  9. December 3, 2013 1:37 pm

    I really want to see this. I hadn’t noticed if it was even playing near here yet. I will have to double-check!

  10. talesofwhimsy permalink
    December 3, 2013 1:53 pm

    Thanks for the warning about the ending.

  11. December 3, 2013 1:53 pm

    I’d really like to see this one at some point, but I doubt it will be in the theater.

  12. December 3, 2013 2:20 pm

    I would like to see this but I get too involved in movies. As a result, I feel like it’s real. Have to avoid a lot of movies that are probably very worthwhile. I’m sure this one would make me sick. On the other hand, I can read about absolutely horrible violence and not be so affected. I know I’m a very strange person. 🙂

  13. December 3, 2013 6:12 pm

    I had not even heard of this one! It sounds powerful, I will have to look to see if we are showing it.

  14. December 3, 2013 6:27 pm

    I think I need to see this movie! It does sound very compelling.

  15. abookdragon permalink
    December 3, 2013 6:56 pm

    I’m scared to read the book and I’m too scared not too.

    Re: Mailbox Monday
    Could you please look at my post and comment?

  16. December 3, 2013 7:00 pm

    This is on my wish list of movies I want to see. So glad you liked it.

  17. Beth F permalink
    December 3, 2013 9:01 pm

    This is on our list. Hope we catch it before it leaves town

  18. December 3, 2013 10:58 pm

    Looks like one I might want to see in the privacy of my own home.

  19. December 4, 2013 1:35 am

    Hi Kathy,

    This sounds like an emotional, thought provoking and disturbing film.

    To have been born into slavery, as terrible as that was, is one thing; but to have been a free man and been so cruelly forced into slavery, is something completely different.

    This isn’t a film that hubbie would be interested in watching, so I need to find the right friend to go with, who will appreciate it as much as I shall.

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy the rest of your week,


  20. December 4, 2013 8:48 am

    I hope it comes to my little town! I’ve seen the previews and this looks really good.

  21. December 4, 2013 3:48 pm

    Saw this movie when it first came out, a real eye opener.

  22. December 4, 2013 6:27 pm

    Haven’t seen this advertised yet, but think I’d like to see it.

  23. Athira permalink
    December 4, 2013 8:58 pm

    I came across Solomon Northrup’s name in Octavia Butler’s KINDRED, which I just finished last night. Glad to see a movie made based on him. I will have to watch this.

  24. December 5, 2013 11:04 am

    This is one I’d like to see eventually.

  25. December 5, 2013 4:09 pm

    I definitely expected this one to be described as disturbing. Sounds like it’s well done.

  26. December 5, 2013 4:37 pm

    I would love to see this but have heard the violence is graphic. And I can’t watch rape scenes. Like others, I think I may have to wait for it to hit NetFlix/premium channels. Good to hear from someone who’s seen it in theaters.

  27. bookingmama permalink
    December 9, 2013 9:49 am

    I was reading about this movie last night in EW and I think it sounds like a must-see!

  28. swright9 permalink
    December 18, 2013 9:25 am

    I just saw this movie too and agree with your sentiments about it. I wasn’t overly eager to see it but I’m glad that I did. Here’s some of my impressions of it at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: