The Daily Beast.
Before long, however, Solomon runs afoul of his redneck sub-master (Paul Dano) and, after whipping him in a fit of rage, knows his days at Ford’s plantation are numbered. He’s sold to Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), an evil alcoholic slave master who’s convinced he’s doing god’s will by beating and maiming his “property.”
As Edwin, Fassbender is utterly terrifying in his unpredictability. You never know if he’ll stab you in the chest, or unleash his teethy smile. Unlike Leonardo DiCaprio’s P.T. Barnum-esque mandingo monster in Django Unchained, Edwin is not a caricature, which makes him all the more menacing. His sadistic obsession with his prized cotton-picker, a teen slave who goes by “Patsey,” played by newcomer Lupita Nyong’o (a revelation), is especially disturbing. The more he yearns for her, the worse he treats her, refusing to even let her wash herself. We haven’t seen a character this revoltingly racist since Ralph Fiennes’ Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List. And, Edwin’s wife Mary (Sarah Paulson), isn’t much better. She’s manipulative monster in the Lady Macbeth mold who forces Edwin to take out her own jealousies and insecurities onto the slaves—especially poor Patsey.