Steve McQueen

But of course! If the MPAA had rated it PG13, or anything other than an “R,” I’d be very concerned. 

Yes, courtesy of Box Office Mojo, new MPAA ratings announced this week include Steve McQueen’s highly-anticipated Twelve Years A Slave

The slave narrative gets an “R” rating for: “violence/cruelty, some nudity and brief sexuality.

Like I said, but of course! 

As I noted on my Cannes 2013 predictions listTwelve Years A Slave should premiere at the festival; however, according to a very recent report via The Hollywood Reporter, the film actually may not debut at Cannes after all, because, as THR says, it might not be done in time for the festival. 

So if not Cannes, then where might it premiere? The only other festivals of Cannes’ caliber that take place before the film’s December 27th premiere this year, are the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. I could also include the Los Angeles Film Festival and the AFI Film Festival.

But we’re only a couple of weeks or so away before Cannes reveals its lineup, so we’ll know with certainty very soon.

Fox Searchlight did announce that it would open the film on December 27, as far away from conversations about Django Unchained as possible, which should be past tense by then. Although, I’m sure there’ll be comparisons between the two films, even though they are nothing alike.

Steve McQueen’s 3rd feature stars a rather impressive cast of actors, including Chiwetel Ejiofor (as Solomon Northup, the star of the film and whose story it tells), Michael FassbenderRuth Negga, Adepero OduyeAlfre WoodardLupita Nyong’oPaul DanoBenedict CumberbatchScoot McNairyGarret DillahuntBrad PittMichael K. Williams Paul GiamattiSarah Paulson and others. 

I expect it to be an awards season favorite, especially in key roles, both in front of and behind the camera, in what will probably signal the beginning of the end of what has been referred to as slave movie fever.

Let’s see how long we’ll have to wait for that first trailer.