Tim here. Barring the unexpected end of civilization between now and January, 12 Years a Slave is going to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, and has the clearest shot of anything right now to taking the win altogether. Everyone reading this site knows that as sure as we know anything, which makes it a little shocking when you step back a bit and realise that, as of the day I write this, the film still hasn’t technically been released yet. So I guess we can add “general audiences thinking it sucks” to the list of reasons that it might crash and burn, though I think the end of humanity is at least as likely.
This will be the second time in two Oscar cycles that a film about slavery in the United States will be competing for the big prize. 2012 had Quentin Tarantino’s ultra-violent pastiche Django Unchained of course, and two more diametrically opposed films on the same topic can hardly be imagined: a white American making a hugely irreverent piss-take of the whole edifice vs. a black Brit with his excoriating historical drama. [more]