Lupita Nyong’o | 12 Years A Slave
Lupita Nyong’o portrays Patsey, a young slave, in Steve McQueen’s masterpiece 12 Years A Slave. In her debut appearance on the American film scene, she delivers a monumental performance. Pitted against stellar actresses and seasoned veterans like Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), and June Squibb (Nebraska), Nyong’o’s premiere performance is comparably all the more astounding.
Its difficult for most people to put themselves in the position of slave, especially one who’s situation is as unique as Patsey’s, but Nyong’o’s performance is so emotionally powerful it builds an empathetic connection. The audience bears witness to and shares her pain, humiliation, and misery. Part of 12 Years‘ beauty as a film is its poignant and poetic dialogue. To deliver the lines in the fashion Nyong’o did gives the dialogue a life of its own. Her acting is a work of art. And while she may not be relatable in the way June Squibb’s character in Nebraska or Sally Hawkin’s in Blue Jasmine are, Nyong’o’s presence on the screen has a force not exhibited by any other actress in the category.
The greatness of her performance has been touted as the best of the year by many, which in turn, seems to have put her in the precarious position of frontrunner.