Why Steve McQueen should win Best Director. (Awards Daily)
McQueen is not interested in fantasy. He’s into exposing the raw nature of human beings — that rawness he brings to scenes that sets all five senses alight. We can smell the sweat. We can taste the tears. The spectrum of the human experience, not just the slave and master experience, vibrates throughout 12 Years a Slave, pain and heartache, jealousy and obsession, ownership and sadism. We don’t get off light here, but we are fully immersed in the reality of nothing less than the most shameful time in American history. Worse, our country was built on it. We wouldn’t have become the empire we are today without slavery. And yet, and yet. We want to escape this, somehow. Even if 12 Years a Slave manages to win Best Picture as some pundits are predicting, that flies in the face of what we know about Oscar voters now.