Just watched '12 Years a Slave', Best Picture according to the US Academy, three Oscars total.
Never has a film disappointed me as much as '12 Years' had, not for a very long time. It's simply bad.
Poor, cliched acting, unconvincing characters, hardly any character development and too many characters to make the story coherent, and the story is disjointed, it just falls apart. Benedict Cumberbatch appears as a 'good slave owner' for a short part at the beginning of the film and soon disappears never to come back. Instead, Brad Pitt briefly pops up towards the end, makes a stilted speech against slavery to the face of a slave-owner for whom he is building a strange three-level structure which is later shown finished as a one-level summerhouse-pavilion. Brad Pitt then forever goes off-screen, to arrange Solomon Northup (main character played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) release.
As for the message, racism remains unexplained, unabhorrent and the notions of freedom and equality nearly spurious.