The main reason to be excited for 12 Years a Slave is that it re-teams Michael Fassbender with director Steve McQueen, whose previous two movies together—Hunger and Shame—were both all-out masterpieces. Fassbender’s performance in Shame—probably the greatest film performance since Daniel Day-Lewis’ Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood—was bizarrely overlooked by the Academy, so there’s a good chance that Fassbender will get nominated for 12 Years a Slave simply as compensation. Sort of like how the Academy gave the best actor trophy to Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart because they suddenly seemed to realize that they’d never given him an award before.
But there are other reasons to be excited for 12 Years a Slave too. For instance, in addition to Fassbender, it stars just about every great actor that you can think of—Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams, and Beasts of the Southern Wild‘s Quvenzhané Wallis all co-star. If that’s not the greatest cast ever assembled, it’s certainly in the top five.
Oh, and the trailer also makes memorable use of Hans Zimmer’s Thin Red Line soundtrack. After all the trailers that’ve used Hans Zimmer’s Inception theme, this is a refreshing change of pace.