Fox Searchlight Pictures
As we surge headlong into Oscar season, the inevitable nuances regarding reception of 12 Years a Slave are finally trickling out, with the initial wave of rapturous reviews being joined by sobering studies questioning the film’s novelty and its appeal to Academy voters. In today’s Links for the Day, we acknowledged both of these issues, which suggest that, while the film may stand alongside Gravity as half of this year’s Oscar power couple, it’s not necessarily the sure thing so many hyperbolically claimed it to be.
I’ve heard people laud and criticize 12 Years a Slave for various reasons, but I certainly haven’t heard a single peep denouncing Lupita Nyong’o’s spectacular performance. There are other actors here whose work lingers like weight on your heart (Pariah’s Adepero Oduye, for instance, isn’t getting nearly enough acclaim for playing a mother stripped of her children), but none cut as deep as Nyong’o, whose turn as the physically and spiritually frayed Patsey isn’t just Oscar-bound; it’s career-making. Here’s your sure thing: this woman is going to be a star.