12 Years a Slave, the gripping racial drama set in the slavery ridden South of the 1800s and based on a true story is poised to take home Best Feature award at the Independent Spirit Awards, hosted by Patton Oswald. The Independent Spirit Awards honor smaller-budget and art house movies that often times serve as indicators as to how the same movies will perform as they compete for Oscar gold.
12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen, is up for seven awards including the aforementioned Best Feature. Other categories include Best Director, Best Actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor and Best Supporting nods for Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o. According to Hitfix.com, McQueen has already taken the top directing honors for 12 Years A Slave, while Lupita Nyong’o took Best Supporting Actress over fellow Oscar contenders June Squibb and Sally Hawkins.
12 Years A Slave also took home Best Screenplay and Cinematography as well. Written by Steve McQueen and John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave tells the story of Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, a free man living in New York who is kidnapped and taken to a plantation in New Orleans in the 1800s. Based in part on Northup’s memoir, the film is up for Best Picture at tomorrow’s Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres but faces steep competition from the likes of American Hustle and Gravity.
As previously reported by Inquisitr, many feel 12 Years a Slave is too graphic a film to win. The film casts a light on one of the darkest chapters in American history, but many voters may actually be turned off by how brutally the slaves were treated and how honest the portrayal was. And despite top notch performances from the entire cast, the fact is this year’s Oscar race has multiple categories where any of the nominees could take home the top prize.
Take 12 Years a Slave lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor for example. In any other year he would command front runner status for his gritty portrayal of Northup. But he also happens to be going up against a rejuvenated Matthew McConaughey who has already taken Best Male Lead at The Independent Spirit Awards for Dallas Buyers Club. The same can be said for Michael Fassbender who was pitted against McConaughey’s fellow Dallas Buyers Club cast mate Jared Leto, who also took home the Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male.
Overall however, McQueen and the entire cast can still look back with pride on the movie they created. And hopefully, taking home Best Picture at The Independent Spirit Awards for 12 Years a Slave is a consolation if the Oscars don’t pan out.
The Independent Spirit Awards airs Saturday March 1st, at 10PM EST on cable network IFC.