'12 Years a Slave' seems uninterested in treating the audience in a normal fashion. That is, the movie doesn't pander, doesn't strive to entertain, doesn't chase box office, and (seemingly) is prepared to faithfully recreate a very ugly chapter in U.S. history. '12 Years a Slave' looks completely removed from the overly polite, too glossy, and overtly commercial portrayals we're used to.
This movie should be as rewarding to the average viewer as it will be to the cinephile or, for that matter, the historian. I don't think a movie about slavery has done that. This is new. If the movie is as compelling as this footage director Steve McQueen is to be applauded.
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