Steve McQueen's searing slavery epic 12 Years a Slave won't be released until October 18, but if it feels like it's already dominating the pop cultural conversation in a way that's unusual, that's befitting of a film that demands to be discussed. Vulture has the exclusive first clip from the highly praised film, and it's a rare idyll in the brutal story, an early scene that comes before Solomon Northup (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) is tricked, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in the south. When we meet Solomon in this scene, he's still a free man living in 1841 New York, an acclaimed violinist of means with a happy family (and a daughter oh-so-briefly portrayed by last year's Best Actress nominee, Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis). Solomon thinks little of going into a fancy shop to buy his wife something nice for an upcoming trip, but as you'll see in this scene, not everyone takes his freedom for granted — and soon enough, that freedom will be a distant memory that the enslaved Solomon clings desperately to, a reminder of who he once was, and who, deep down, he still remains.
Most Viewed Stories
20 Marvel ‘Firsts’ in Jessica Jones
Behind Jessica Jones’s Unprecedented Sex Scenes
Why Leonardo DiCaprio’s Turn in The Revenant Will Be Hard to Beat at the Oscars
In Praise of Adele, My Fat, Flawless Heroine
Fargo Recap: Different Journeys, Same Destination
Even HBO Is No Longer Pretending Jon Snow Is Really Dead
Jane the Virgin’s Radically Frank Depiction of Early Motherhood
Louis C.K. Is Still Really, Really Sorry About Those Sarah Palin Tweets
It’s Superheroes Galore in the New DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Trailer
Amazon Is Pulling Its High Castle Nazi Ads From NYC Subways; Pretty Much Everyone Is Okay With This
Latest News from VultureWatch Adele's 'Hello' Get the Classroom-Instrument Treatment on Fallon's Tonight Show
Featuring a banana and a flip phone.Someone Has Finally Thrown Down a Stupid Amount of Money for That Insane Wu-Tang Double Album
The amount has not been disclosed, but it's "in the millions," according to the auction house.Scream Queens Recap: Head of the Table
Has anyone ever seen one of those electric turkey carvers in real life? No.The Captain America: Civil War Trailer Is Here, and It's a Big Bucky Hunt
Wowowowowow.And Your Dancing With The Stars Season 21 Winner Is...
Drum roll, please.Sly and the Family Stone's Cynthia Robinson Has Died
She was 69.Grease: Live Teaser: The Dancing Is in the Hands
No, really.Limitless Recap: A Farewell to Arms
The show hints at a not-so-distant future where robots kill us all.All My Children Actor David Canary Has Died
He was 77.The Man in the High Castle Recap: A Known Subversive
"If you fail, the girl dies with you."
"Nobody talks about the camps."Natalie Dormer on The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, and the Fate of Men Named ‘Snow’
"Gwendoline Christie and I are the Hunger Thrones girls! We're the Game of Games girls!"Julian Fellowes Really Wants the Downton Abbey Movie to Happen
Six seasons and a movie!Will the Beatles Ever Come Around on Streaming Services?
The Beatles would be the ultimate feather in any streaming service's cap. But will the iconic band ever deign to go free when their records still sell?5 Best New Songs of the Week
Is it too early for Christmas music? CRJ says no!Who the Jessica Jones Characters Are in the Comics and How They Connect to the Marvel Universe
Get the backstories.Jessica Jones Recap: Selfie Help
Kilgrave's face finally gets a much-deserved punch.Kevin Bacon to Star and Exec-Produce the Tremors TV Reboot; We’re Wriggling With Excitement (Like a Big Worm)
Who wants to play Six Degrees of Worms?Jason Street Will Play Coach Taylor in the Unauthorized Musical of Friday Night Lights
Clear eyes, full lungs!Your Dad Tom Hanks Is an Amazing Rapper
He did a flawless rendition of "City of Crime" on The Graham Norton Show.