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2011 was one of the best years for film in recent years. There are about 25 films that could have made my top ten list and each film in my top 5 could be my number one. I saw about 100 films this year and I still wish I could have seen more. I feel very comfortable with my top ten and I feel like it was a good representative of the year in film. However I do feel that people looking at this article should go over to Sound On Sight and see all the staff’s individual lists, as well as the honorable mentions that just missed my list. You will find a great collection of films on those lists.
Directed by Sean Durkin
I saw Sean Durkin’s directorial debut in August and knew as soon as the last frame came up that this was the best picture of the year. »
- Josh Youngerman
Peter Bradshaw picks his highlights of the year ahead
Artist and film-maker Steve McQueen follows up his award-winning Hunger with this study of Brandon, a compulsive sex addict in Manhattan, played by Michael Fassbender. Brandon is forced to consider his life choices, and their origins, when his equally troubled sister (Carey Mulligan) comes to stay with him in his bachelor pad. Released on 13 January.
This has reportedly been a "passion project" for Ralph Fiennes for years: an adaptation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus, a play about a Roman military hero and autocratic leader who despises the people and the political arts of appeasing them. Rejected by Rome, he makes common cause with the city's enemy in order to wage a bitter war of revenge. Released on 20 January.
- Peter Bradshaw
From the moment it debuted at the Venice Film Festival, everybody has been talking about Steve McQueen's "Shame." The follow-up to his universally acclaimed directorial debut "Hunger," "Shame" follows Brandon (Michael Fassbender, who deservedly won best actor in Venice for his performance), a thirtysomething sex addict incapable of sustaining any emotional connection with another human being. His life takes a turn when he receives a surprise visit from his equally troubled younger sister (Carey Mulligan), which forces him into some raw self-examination. Honor Roll is a daily series for December that will feature new or previously published interviews, profiles and first-persons of some of the year's most notable cinematic voices. Today we're revisiting an interview with "Shame" director Steve McQueen from the Toronto International Film Festival. Dark, honest, and very explicit, the film has been one of the critical darlings »
Most moviegoers can agree on one thing: there were way too many movies this year. If you’re (un)fortunate enough to live in New York, you had the opportunity to see around 600 new features come and go; the rest of us didn’t get that many fewer. That means that anyone who’s been put in a position to make a top 10 (or top 15, or top 20…) had to make some sad cuts. So we thought it appropriate to highlight some of the year’s most memorable individual moments, scenes, and sequences, from movies that may or may not have made our individual year-end lists. Some were from movies we didn’t love; some are from movies we didn’t even like, but all stood out. Which is no small feat considering just how insane the release calendar has become.
We are keeping out credit sequences since we feel it is an artform in itself, »
Ever since we shared that Harry Potter "Consider..." book, I've been meaning open to crack open the other Fyc ads that have arrived. So let's do that starting with Shame.
Shame... Why didn't this one come in a black plastic or brown paper wrapping like porn? The cover blurb courtesy of New York magazine says
Michael Fassbender has arrived."
Where? We'll be right over!
We get the meaning but that happened with Hunger, thank you, and was immediately confirmed over and over again for the next year and change with the consecutive openings of Inglourious Basterds, Jane Eyre and X-Men First Class and so on. He's not only arrived, he's moved in.
More Shame and modest Fyc proposals after the jump »
- NATHANIEL R
Much of our lurid film community is of the belief that America’s acting prowess died with its classic stars like Marlon Brando, James Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Grace Kelly. However, I’m here to argue that America’s actors are stronger than ever and can match up toe to toe with the likes of both Europe and Asia.
The list will be split into two parts: in part one, I delve into the modern world of Hollywood actors with actresses soon to follow in part two.
Part one: Top Ten Actors Working In Hollywood Today
Actor With The Most Potential To Hit It Big: Paddy Considine
Before I begin the list, I want to take a moment to discuss an actor whom I believe has enormous potential. While not American born, British actor Paddy Considine has been in his fair share of American films like In America, »
- Connor Folse
Carey Mulligan shows some skin on the cover of W's January 2012 issue. She's been off in Australia working on The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, but it's her most recent release, Shame, that she discussed with the magazine. The Steve McQueen-directed movie earned a Nc-17 rating for its graphic sex and frequent nude scenes, and leading man Michael Fassbender has gotten a great deal of attention for the amount of time he spends in the buff. Carey also has her moment sans clothes, and she spoke about that, as well as getting the role and her start in acting, with the publication. Carey Mulligan told W: On going nude in Shame: "I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of nudity . . . When it came to this, it just seemed so obvious that she is the sort of person who would have no trouble being naked »
- Allie Merriam
Shame Directed by: Steve McQueen Written by: Abi Morgan and Seve McQueen Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale Sex without the pleasure — and you thought starving to death in an Irish prison was rough. Following Hunger, director Steve McQueen's new collaboration with Michael Fassbender is a similarly self-destructive character study. Shame stars the latter as Brandon Sullivan, a sex-addicted New York businessman whose explicit lifestyle is threatened by the surprise arrival of his orphaned sister (Carey Mulligan). Loaded with full-frontal male and female nudity and graphic depictions of sex, the Nc-17 rated flick may not be coming to a theater near you. Far from crass or exploitative, however, McQueen's film succeeds in making Brandon's many lascivious liaisons feel obligatory rather than erotic. Shame is Requiem for a Dream for sex. A gorgeously shot but emotionally upending orgy late in the film drives home the utter desperation of »
Sitting in the theater watching Steve McQueen’s (“Hunger”) new film, the sexually charged “Shame”, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Outside after the screening, another reviewer asked what I thought. Seems like a straightforward enough question, but in trying to quantify my experience I froze, mouth open like a slack-jawed idiot. He took my hesitation to mean that I didn’t like “Shame”. He said he liked it a great deal, and we wandered down the escalator and out into the harsh light of day. My response, or lack thereof, bothered me. There are many things about “Shame” that is absolutely breathtaking. Michael Fassbender for one. He gives a subtle, stripped-down, absolutely brutal performance as a man falling down the rabbit hole of sexual addiction. Brandon (Fassbender) is a man who needs sex—not wants, needs—he has to have it, compulsion dictates. He hardly says anything, but you »
- Brent McKnight
Michael Fassbender insists on having a sense of humor about sex. The actor is currently delivering acclaimed performances in two films in which coitus is a central topic. In "A Dangerous Method," he plays Carl Jung, whose study of sexuality leads to a torrid affair with a patient played by Keira Knightley. In the Nc-17-rated "Shame," which re-teams him with "Hunger" director Steve McQueen, Fassbender delivers a startling naked performance, literally and figuratively, as a sex addict. At a press conference for "Shame," Fassbender and McQueen are like naughty boys misbehaving; Fassbender jokes that he used "fluffers" on set, and McQueen says his main motivation in making the film was "wanting to see Michael naked." When complimented on his lighthearted attitude in the face of such serious subject matter, Fassbender replies, "You have to laugh. In life in general, it's either laugh or cry, and it's always better to laugh. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jenelle Riley)
Material similar to Shame, to use an immature and simplistic description, could easily falter into emotion porn. With a story that’s, on the surface, about a self-loathing sex addict, overwrought drama is easy to get into, even with the slightest lack of subtlety. This could be one of those films where characters are emotionally tortured for the sake of torture, with no greater meaning. Co-writer and director Steve McQueen, who is surely aware of the dramatic trickiness of Shame, takes a more sensitive and observant approach. McQueen uses his cold and perfect framing to create the atmosphere and world Brandon’s created, not to draw attention to himself as a filmmaker. This, among many other topics, is what I recently discussed with the press tour-exhausted filmmaker. Here’s what Steve McQueen had to say about internal writing, powerful expressions, capturing beautiful butterflies, and why films can be important: To start, both »
- Jack Giroux
Michael Fassbender is perhaps the most talented, fastest rising international star. Originally born in Germany, Fassbender has grown rapidly from being primarily a television actor into a worldly thespian of staggering proportion, garnering ecstatic praise both in Europe and the United States for his unflinching, intense performances in roles that are often controversial and extraordinarily demanding. Fassbender has received some of his breakout roles in genre films, a cinematic place that only rarely produced tremendous genre-spanning talent.
In honor of this tremendous new acting force, we’ve compiled our list of Top Ten performances from Michael Fassbender. His latest role may prove to be his most stellar, even controversial one yet. Appearing in his second film directed by Steve McQueen, Shame has Fassbender portraying a sex addict. Shame is opening soon, with dates varying depending on your location.
Honorable Mention: Centurion
- Movie Geeks
Irish actor Michael Fassbender (Shame, X-men; First Class), has won the Best Actor award at the 14th The Moët British Independent Film Awards, which were held in London last night. The actor won the award for his lead role in 'Shame' by director Steven McQueen (Hunger) in which he plays Brandon Sullivan, a sex addicted New Yorker whose carefully cultivated private life is disrupted when his sister Cissy arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay. »
"Do I like to take my clothes off? Not really," chuckled Fassbender, That's Steve's deal. You've got to ask him why he keeps asking me to take my clothes off - maybe there’s something in that."
He added more seriously, "With the story, that was just the way it went."
Fassbender revealed the BIFAs had a special place in his heart, as it was the first time he ever received an acting award - for his equally exposing role in Hunger, also directed by McQueen, and that the list of fellow nominees for Best Actor was »
- Caroline Frost
Starring Peter Mullan as a drinking, gambling, washed-up widower, it was surprise winner of the best film award from a particularly strong shortlist that included Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Shame, Senna and We Need to Talk About Kevin.
It is not a first date movie, or rather would be one for unusual people. The tone is set in the first minutes when Mullan's character kicks his dog to death after he is kicked out of the bookies. While it is not easy to watch, critics have showered the film with praise.
Considine, best known as an actor, was given the Douglas Hickox award for best debut director. The film's hat trick of »
- Mark Brown
Michael Fassbender exposes the dark side of sex in Shame, Steve McQueen’s sophomore film, and a devastating dive into addiction as profoundly powerful as Darren Aronofsky’s own second feature, Requiem for a Dream.
The multifaceted Fassbender embodies Brandon, a mid-level employee and spiraling sex addict, in a raw, Oscar-worthy performance that churns ecstasy into anguish. He plays both to perfection, flashing that charming grin to help his hopeless boss (James Badge Dale) and, soon after, rocking his gaunt, curled frame in a lonely corner. Then he shrinks even further, down into the seedy underbelly of NYC, where wordless encounters offer anonymity and primal gratification.
He responds to the urges, but Brandon bottles the turmoil inside, and early on he’s depicted hunched in disgrace as a voice says, “I find you disgusting.” Before that, a swelling score and series of nearly-silent scenes of disquieting impact: Brandon lying flat on the bed, »
- Jeff Leins
In Steve McQueen’s Shame, Michael Fassbender plays some kind of advertising executive who has some sort of sex addiction. His sister (Carey Mulligan), whom he’s been ignoring for some reason or other, shows up at his place; the two have a relationship that might or might not be incestuous, but which definitely / possibly involves some kind of bad childhood stuff (maybe). Probably because his sister’s around, Fassbender has trouble doing his whole sex addiction thing, eventually gets beaten up outside of a bar, and is forced to get a blowjob from, of all things, another dude (that Shame equates gay sex with a personal Hell is a big hint toward its essentially reactionary inner workings). Throughout, McQueen opts for long-take, low-energy vagueness; its prettiness nearly masks the fact that the basic notions that inform the film—its images, its ellipses, its characterizations—are mostly inchoate, if not »
Throughout the month of December, Filmmaker‘s writers will be commenting on their favorite films of the year as well as business, tech, and cultural trends. To kick off, here’s Zack Wigon’s Top 20 Films of 2011.
1. Shame. Shame is unquestionably the real deal when it comes to the easily-melodramatic territory of the Addiction Film – the words “searing” and “raw” come to mind without irony – but what makes it the best film of 2011 is the fact that Steve McQueen seems hell-bent on upending everything we know about how stories are supposed to be told in cinema. For the second time now, he’s made a film which treats exposition as the hindrance to narrative and character development that it is; it’s a narrative philosophy found all-too-rarely in contemporary cinema. The result is a film both subtle and punishingly direct, somehow, at the same time; the tone is economically conveyed in the opening eight-minute sequence, »
- Scott Macaulay
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Sex. Nc-17. Fassbender. McQueen. You've heard the buzz, it's finally time to see it for yourself. Even with that Nc-17 rating, Fox Searchlight is releasing Steve McQueen's Shame, one of the edgiest yet highly acclaimed films this year, in its uncut form. Michael Fassbender stars as Brandon, a sex-addicted man living in Manhattan whose life is thrown out of balance when his fragile sister, Carey Mulligan, suddenly shows up. Is it as good as everyone is saying? And how is Fassbender - Oscar worthy? Once you've seen it, leave a comment below with your own thoughts on Shame. To start the discussion, I love this film, it's one of my favorites films of the year (here's my Telluride review), which was surprising because I didn't like McQueen's last effort, Hunger (that's for another day). I believe Fassbender gives one of »
- Alex Billington
Fox Searchlight’s drama, Shame, was getting plenty of buzz even before it opened in theaters on Friday, December 2, due to its controversial subject matter following a sex addict in New York City and its subsequent Nc-17 rating. The film is directed by Steve McQueen who teamed up with the star of his 2008 film Hunger, Michael Fassbender. Fassbender’s performance as sex addict Brandon was praised by many critics. Carey Mulligan also stars in the film as Brandon’s sister who comes to town and disrupts his lifestyle. Photos: The Dirty Dozen -- Films that Narrowly Avoided an Nc-17 McQueen’s
- THR Staff
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