“I was totally bowled over by 12 Years a Slave and it looks to me like the rare case where a sentimental or politically-motivated vote will go toward a film that, you know, actually deserves it,” says Peter Knegt in a 9.20 Indiewire piece called “Has 12 Years a Slave Already Won the Oscar?” “It’s hard to deny the narrative this year of decent (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) to good (Fruitvale Station) to downright brilliant (12 Years a Slave) films with important black stories being directed by actual black filmmakers. Which I say only because so many times over the years, films with major black characters have been huge Oscar contenders (Driving Miss Daisy and Crash being the obvious two), but they were representationally problematic ones directed by white dudes. If this is the year of the black filmmaker, Steve McQueen is a remarkable one — who is wholly deserving of what’s about to come his way.”