12 Years a Slave: a brutal experience, as a realistic film about the slavery needs to be. (One has to wonder if, and why, modern audiences need to be reminded of the cruelty of such obviously evil institution, but I digress.) The story is more emotional than the film, but probably it’s just as well, as it is quite powerful without the need of additional accentuating. Beautifully directed by Steve McQueen, from the superb acting by the whole cast (but particularly Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender) to the marvelous camera work of Sean Bobbitt (McQueen lets many of the scenes unfold without cuts, allowing for beautiful frames or intricate camera movements). Not an easy sit by any stretch, but a very rewarding one.