12 Years A Slave

Film critics Carrie and Chad on who will – and who should – win the Oscars

The 86th Academy Awards air this Sunday, March 2nd on ABC at 5:00pm PST (red carpet coverage starts at 4:00). Here are Carrie and Chad’s predictions – and hopes – for the major categories:


Nominees: American Hustle/Captain Phillips/Dallas Buyers Club/Gravity/Her/Nebraska/Philomena/12 Years a Slave/The Wolf of Wall Street
Carrie: Will Win: 12 Years a Slave; Should Win: Nebraska
Chad: Will Win: 12 Years a Slave; Should Win: Her

Oscars 2

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Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann present their Top 10 Films of 2013.  Here’s Chad’s list, presented in the order of which he feels they deserve to be ranked (1 being the best, 10 being pretty damn good too!)

1.) Inside Llewyn Davis
"If it was never new and it never gets old, then it's a folk song"

“If it was never new and it never gets old, then it’s a folk song”

The Coen brothers newest film is a hilarious, thought-provoking, darkly intelligent, musical journey into the 1961 New York folk music scene.  Featuring masterful performances under the direction of master filmmakers, Inside Llewyn Davis is a documentary of sorts — accurately capturing a time period and a historical mentality…yet its message is timeless.

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Hard to endure, hard to fathom, but essential.

"12 Years A Slave" captures a personal, intimate, fear.

“12 Years A Slave” captures a personal, intimate fear.

12 Years a Slave feels like it could very well be the most accurate cinematic depiction of the atrocities of slavery.  We don’t just see the physical brutality, we also feel the isolation, the helplessness, and each slave’s necessary abandonment of individuality in order to survive.  The geographical solitude in which two different worlds are formed, the one inhabited by the slaves and the one inhabited by the landowners and overseers, is one of the story’s focal points and how it affects the mentality of each character.  For all of these reasons, 12 Years a Slave, based on the book of the true story by Solomon Northup, succeeds where no other film about slavery has.  In other films of this nature, the “hero” rises up against the odds.  The protagonist rises up by gradually becoming an outspoken leader, or by finding the only sympathetic ear that winds up being a ticket to freedom.  Those stories may be inspiring, and well told, but they are often sugar-coated, to put it bluntly.  When viewing 12 Years a Slave, we, the audience, don’t get special treatment.  We are forced into a very dark place in our nation’s history, and we are asked to face the harrowing truth head on.

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