Coming off the heels of both an official December 27th release date and a Hollywood Reporter article suggesting it won't be done in time for Cannes, Steve McQueen's "Twelve Years a Slave" has been given an "R" rating by the MPAA roughly nine months in advance of its release date. Wouldn't that mean the film is indeed ready for Cannes?
It's definitely unusual for a film to get a rating from the MPAA this far in advance and certainly suggests its done or close to it. With six weeks before Cannes kicks off, it seems like it could be ready for the fest after all. But now the question is more about whether distributor Fox decides to debut a film at a festival a full eight months before its theatrical release date. But hey, it didn't hurt "Amour" last year, did it?
"Slave" -- McQueen's third after "Hunger" and the NC-17 rated "Shame" -- features a mammoth cast including Chiwetel Ejiofor (as Solomon Northup, the film's protagonist), Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ruth Negga, Adepero Oduye, Alfre Woodard, Lupita Nyong'o, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Garret Dillahunt, Michael K. Williams, Quvenzhane Wallis, Paul Giamatti and Sarah Paulson.
A synopsis care of Fox Searchlight:
TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE is based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (CHIWETEL EJIOFOR), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by MICHAEL FASSBENDER), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (BRAD PITT) will forever alter his life.