Top Movies of 2013/14; #1 "12 Years A Slave"

Journal: February 2014

Google description... In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty at the hands of a malevolent slave owner, as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist will forever alter his life.

My review... After seeing "12 Years A Slave," I wrote this response. In my review, I would like to talk about why I believed this to be the best movie of the 2013/14 Oscar season.

I have seen nearly 500 movies in a theatre and almost that many in my home. I believe that makes me a cinephile. Which is a title I wear with pride. Having seen this many movies, I am often asked: What is your favorite movie of all time? Without a moment's hesitation, I respond, "Into the Wild."

Now, is "Into the Wild" the best movie I've seen? No, but it is my favorite. Here is why. The movie transformed my life. When I was done, my outlook on life changed. I stopped looking at my time on this planet as a  race to collect "things" and watched as it began to shift to a race to collect experiences.

That is what great movies do. They transform you. They force you to question long held beliefs. They shift your worldview. They focus things you've always believed to be true. They have the power to make you a new person. "12 Years A Slave" did that for me.

Without a doubt, it is one of the most powerful movies I've ever seen. Not, because of its violence and unimaginable human suffering, but rather what it reveals about the human spirit. Within all of us, is the power to love/hate, lift up/tear down, create/destroy... Some of us walk a fine line between the two, yet very few of us are ever called to summon the energy to survive against those occupying the evil counterbalances. Solomon Northup survived and in doing so opened the eyes of a nation to slavery and its atrocities. His character in the face of such adversity will stay with me for a long time to come. As will an ever present idea of ensuring I am occupying the power to love, lift up and create.

Thanks for entering my world,