Category Archives: “Amistad”

This Actor Deserves the Oscar! (March 2, 2014)

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With a few days off from the library, weather conditions

and changes in the month, I feel like I am ‘behind’ on my

posts! I was excited, while anticipating the month leading

to the Oscars, about the Turner Classic Movies’ “kick off”

show called, “And the Oscar Goes To…”

Turner Classics held it at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 1st.

The messy day had been icy and snowy. Brr! Just the right

show to cap off an evening!

The featured 10 Best Picture nominees from 1939 were aired

throughout that day. They also aired a new documentary film

about 85 years of Academy Awards. The film included famous

actors, actresses and filmmakers who were interviewed for

this auspicious occasion.

Since the rest of the month will feature past movie winners

it will be an excellent time to check out your television

guide for which channel TCM is located on! Also, if you have

a chance you may try to see some of the current nominees,

in varied categories. If the movie, “12 Years a Slave” comes

back to your town or city, I would highly recommend trying

to view it.

The “Vanity Fair” magazine photograph on their cover this

month, shot by the famous Annie Lebowith, features Julia

Roberts, George Clooney, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Idris Elba.

The fine acting of an individual sometimes escapes one’s

notice. As I did not “see” who was the person playing the

character of the translator in “Amistad,” (1997). Nor did I

really try to determine the handsome man behind the face

in “Love Actually” (2003), who married Keira Knightley’s

character. Even though this is one of my youngest daughter’s

and my favorite Christmas movies!

Lastly, I had not realized that wearing those “Kinky Boots,”

(2005), was the actor, otherwise known as Chiwetel Ejifor.

How could I have not noticed the “Who” that was behind such

intriguing characters as in “American Gangster,” “Salt” and

“2012?” Because, Ejiofor, is able to immerse himself into

his diverse character roles, so well, that you don’t imagine

he is an actor. He became the “real” man who had to endure

slavery, as in 2013’s, “12 Years A Slave.”

This year, celebrating some of the greatest movies I have

ever seen, we will have the 86th Academy Awards ceremony,

in less than a month. You still have time to catch up on

your viewing!

Known from 2013 onward, I believe, Chiwetel Ejiofor will be

recognized finally. He will be known as the man who played

Solomon Northrup, in “12 Years A Slave.”

What are his roots? His parents were born in Nigeria. Ejiofor

was born in 1977. He was raised in England and attended the

British National Youth Theatre in 1995. That is where he

tried out for the scholarship to London’s prestigious Academy

of Music and Dramatic Arts. At age 19, Ejiofor was only three

months into his coursework there, having earned his scholarship,

when he was ‘discovered’ by Steven Spielberg. He was chosen to

play the character, Ensign James Covey, also regarded as the

interpreter in “Amistad.”

What dreams other actors have had and not been discovered?

How many actors have worked in different fields, everything

from cab drivers, carpenters, waiters (or servers) for years,

only to make it into a commercial or small acting part?

I enjoyed the action thriller known as “2012,” in which Ejiofor

played the character, “Dr. Adrian Helmsley.” Ejiofor’s father

had been a doctor possibly his inspiration, while he performed

in this scientific role.

I look forward to watching the Academy Awards ceremony with

the funny Ellen Degeneres hosting. I watched, “12 Years A Slave”

when it first came out, with my good guy friend, Bill. I also

wrote an informative post that included a short review. I knew

I had just seen a dynamic, powerful and moving cast of actors.

I believe that this story will someday be featured on TCM as a

‘classic’ movie.

It was Ejiofor’s portrayal of Solomon that really fascinated

me. If you have not seen this movie, try it, think about it,

and realize it may change your life. I have been thinking about

Solomon, why he would write this story, that included his real

gratitude. This incredible story is less about his not being

filled with anger and more of his forgiveness. I value many of

his human characteristics, including his perseverance through

all of his pain. Not a spoiler alert, to tell you that Solomon

showed drive and a continued conviction that he was once a

freed man.

The road through hell is unquestionably a difficult one to

watch.

An original copy of Solomon’s late 1800’s book that includes

pen and ink illustrations was what inspired the movie. Before

Ejiofor took the role, he had doubts about his abilities to

portray Solomon. When he was shown an illustration which

depicts Solomon looking somewhat bewildered and scared, yet

calm in his demeanor, he decided he wanted to take the part.

This picture, supposedly, moved Ejiofor. He wanted to become

that man in the drawing.

I think he did extremely well. During the course of filming

the movie, and even now, in his mind, Chiwetel Ejiofor feels

irrevocably changed.

This emotionally moves me, when someone in in character, like

Sandra Bullock was in her recent 2013 “Gravity” space movie.

Also, in her part of playing a fairly wealthy woman who

changed her own life, along with her family’s to take in a

homeless man, in “The Blind Side.” The incredible true story

of Michael Oher, also shows the difference that man made in

their lives, too.

While I am on the road to my Mom’s this weekend, I hope to

have some great music playing on the radio and unwinding

from a very stressful week.

On the road to the Oscar’s, please share with me any movies

you wish to recommend!