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
7 Steps to Living a Bill Murray Life, by Bill Murray
Did Amazon Sink the Queen of Online Erotica?
Michelle Rodriguez Says She Wants ‘Minorities’ to ‘Stop Stealing’ Superhero Roles From White People, Then Apologizes [Updated]
House of Cards Season 3, Episode 2 Recap: Meet Me Halfway
Kelly Osbourne Reportedly Quits Fashion Police Over Giuliana Rancic’s Zendaya Jokes
Saturday Night Live Recap: Fifty Shades of Nope
House of Cards Season 3, Episode 1 Recap: Road to Recovery
Carly Rae Jepsen Finally Releases Followup to 'Call Me Maybe'
A Valuable, Shot-by-Shot Description of Fifty Shades of Grey’s First Sex Scene
Dakota Johnson Joins ISIS in Controversial SNL Sketch
Latest News on VultureSome Prankster Pulled a Fast One on Kanye
Check out Loser.com.Sophie McShera on the Downton Abbey Finale, Daisy Finding Love, and Cinderella
And her "telly mommy."Downton Abbey Recap: A Modest Proposal
Matthew Goode and some happy wedding news give this uneven Downton season a happy ending.Looking Recap: Funeral Roots
Doris gets sidelined in what initially felt like might be her own episode.Togetherness Recap: Stop Weirding Out
We're entering dangerous waters here.Girls Recap: A Date With a Man Named Fran
Now we're talking.Saturday Night Live Recap: Fifty Shades of Nope
Host Dakota Johnson did not seem comfortable.House of Cards Season 3, Episode 4 Recap: Take Me to Church
This show is at its best when Frank is facing off with people who are at least as smart as he is.Will Smith's Focus Takes the Weak Weekend Box Office
Eh.Alicia Keys's New Baby Photo Is Adorable
Hello Genesis Ali Dean!
For the annual Polar Plunge.Leonardo DiCaprio Might Finally Get to Play a Criminal with Multiple Personality Disorder
In The Crowded Room.House of Cards Season 3, Episode 3 Recap: Kiss of Death
This is the show I have been waiting for.Carly Rae Jepsen Finally Releases Followup to 'Call Me Maybe'
"I Really Like You."Dakota Johnson Joins ISIS in Controversial SNL Sketch
"Dad, it's just ISIS."And the Title of Kanye's New Album Is...
Announced on Twitter.There Will Be Adventure Time the Movie
So many princesses!William Shatner Will Miss Leonard Nimoy’s Funeral
Because of a charity event.House of Cards Season 3, Episode 2 Recap: Meet Me Halfway
This is the best mode for the Underwoods: scrappy and cornered and unwilling to surrender.Michelle Rodriguez Says She Wants ‘Minorities’ to ‘Stop Stealing’ Superhero Roles From White People, Then Apologizes [Updated]
PHEW.Glee Recap: Friday, I’m in Love
This episode suffered from a touch of the Ruby Problem.Kelly Osbourne Reportedly Quits Fashion Police Over Giuliana Rancic’s Zendaya Jokes
Dramaaaa.Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer Play ‘Truth or Truth’ With Jimmy Fallon
"What's your favorite song to make love to?"House of Cards Season 3, Episode 1 Recap: Road to Recovery
Is Doug being treated inside a West Elm catalogue?Secrets and Lies Is As Unoriginal As They Come
Who did it? I think you did it.Tyrion Stares Down a Dragon in Game of Thrones Season 5’s Poster
Tyrion and a dragon.President Obama Says He ‘Loved’ Spock in Touching Statement on the Death of Leonard Nimoy
"I loved Spock."20 Cool Things Leonard Nimoy Did Other Than Star Trek
From poetry to "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins."Eddie Redmayne As Transgender Pioneer Lili Elbe in His Upcoming The Danish Girl
"I think it's the most sensitive role I have played."
All hail Stephen Fry.Remembering Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock, One of History’s Greatest TV Characters
Trek and Nimoy built Spock, the Vulcans, and their entire history out of bits and pieces of lived experience, which is why their world continues to exert such powerful fascination.Simpsons Showrunner Al Jean Remembers Leonard Nimoy
He had some of the show's best cameos.TV Review: The Last Man on Earth Makes a Lasting Impression
Let's hear it for Will Forte.The Lazarus Effect Is a Dopey Thriller That Wastes a Good Cast
The Lazarus Effect is simultaneously too much and not enough.Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green Make the Western The Salvation Worthwhile
There’s nothing surprising about The Salvation, which is the most surprising thing about it.Leonard Nimoy Explains Spock’s Secret Jewish Origins
From synagogue to Starfleet.Leonard Nimoy Dead at 83
He died at his home in Bel Air.Archer Recap: Mashed-Potato Party
Who remembers Bullitt? Archer does!Will Smith Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Outfit or a Blanket? A Quiz
Is this a picture of something Will would've worn to impress the honeys or something you'd sleep under?
In the Bonnie and Clyde–inspired "Trouble" video with Jennifer Hudson.Why You Can’t Stream Björk’s New Album on Spotify
“It’s not about the money, it’s about respect.”Jack O’Connell Suffers (Again) and Shines in Northern Ireland Thriller ’71
"'71 doesn't always work, but when it does, it's a blistering, gripping tale."Pussy Riot Speak Out Against Russia’s President (Again) on House of Cards
Watch them bad-mouth Russia's president in a new clip.What Video Game Is Frank Underwood Playing on House of Cards?
Watch him play Monument Valley.So Who Killed Lila on How to Get Away With Murder?
And then what happened?House of Cards Season 3: The Power-Hungry Duo Turns Inward
Conquest is the easy part; it's the occupation that always gets you.House of Cards Showrunner Beau Willimon on Frank Underwood’s Worldview, the Nature of Power, and the Singularity
"He would say ideology or morality is a form of cowardice."William H. Macy on Shameless, Directing Sex Scenes, and Winning a SAG Award
“I’m hoping winning this SAG [award] means some of my co-stars will start to get recognition.”James Van Der Beek on ‘Debooting’ Power Rangers and Being Caught With a Gay-Porn Version of Dawson’s Creek
"It feels like a battle for the soul of the internet, in a way."