Friday, January 10, 2014

Favorite Performances '13 - Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years A Slave

In this space I will pay homage to the actors who gave performances in 2013 that moved and stunned me. These are the performances that I responded to the most and will remember, I think, for years to come.

If Oscar Isaac is The Voice, Chiwetel Ejiofor is The Eyes.  Steve McQueen locks his camera on those eyes and Ejiofor delivers emotional catharsis. It's a crescendo of a performance, starting in shadows as Solomon plays the audience surrogate into this unspeakably cruel world, building to a finale that shatters. "I apologize for my appearance.  I have had a difficult time of things these past many years".

Before we get there, we pass through the funeral scene where Solomon both accepts his destiny as a slave and the camaraderie and community of his fellow slaves. And in another instance, that haunting image of Ejiofor's silent face, and those eyes, reflecting and for one split second looking directly into the audience. These are just a few peaks in this marvel of a performance. Ejiofor pierces the heart. 

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