Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Michael's competition

This coming Friday, Michael will be in Los Angeles to promote the Oscar qualifying special engagement screenings of 'Hunger' in the US. If you live in the LA area, or have the ability to visit there just to see this movie, and you're sitting on the fence of curiosity as to why Michael Fassbender should be given Oscar nomination consideration, then going to the Nuart on December 5th is just for you. I've seen 'Hunger' twice already, and had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Michael at the Toronto festival, so I don't need to venture out West for this event.

It's a smart move for IFC, the production company for 'Hunger' to put on this special event as it is the only way for Hunger to become a legitimate nomination for the Oscars and other awards. I only wish they could cover both coasts by including at least one New York city screening. But alas, if they had to choose one, LA was the ideal location. So please go see it so that you can judge for yourself just how great Michael is and what an excellent directorial debut Steve McQueen has accomplished.

What I have been doing this week is monitoring who the other gentlemen are whom are almost considered locks for Oscar nominations. Like most fans of a particular actor, I admit that I am biased towards Michael's performance, but to be open-minded and to see how he will fare against the others, I will do my best to see the other guy's performances. The one's I'm most curious about is Sean Penn for 'Milk', Clint Eastwood for 'Gran Torino', and Mickey Rourke for 'The Wrestler'. These guys stand out because their characters and the film plots they are involved in interest me the most as a movie goer. However, as much as I enjoy the works of Leonardo DiCaprio 'Revolutionary Road', Brad Pitt 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', and Frank Langella 'Frost/Nixon', I do not have a dying need to see these films, at least not yet. Time and money will prevent me from seeing all these possible Best Actor nominees, but I will try my best. I do however have at home in a pretty red Netflix envelope, Richard Jenkins' 'The Visitor'. He is in underdog range, but the chatter about him is pretty valid, and since it's out on DVD, it is easier to view this film. I'll let you know what I think this weekend.

So once I see some of these movies, I will have a better idea just how good of a chance Michael has to a) get nominated, and b) Win! Until then, it is a passion of mine to see Michael Fassbender be nominated for the holy grail of acting awards, and I'm going to do my damndest to get him the attention he deserves.

Yesterday, the Independent Spirit Awards announced their nominations, and Hunger has been nominated in the Best Foreign Film category.


"The Class" (France) - Director: Laurent Cantet

"Gomorra" (Italy) - Director: Matteo Garrone

"Hunger" (UK/Ireland) - Director: Steve McQueen **

"Secret of the Grain" (France) - Director: Abdellatif Kechiche

"Silent Light" (Mexico/France/Netherlands/Germany) - Director: Carlos Reygadas

The ISAs award American financed and produced indies, so that is why Hunger did not get a boat load of nominations, however, I believe it stands a great chance to win the Best Foreign film and if they do this, a win will up its chances to stand out for the Oscars in being nominated in the Best Foreign film category too. As an aside, I'm glad that 'Slumdog Millionaire' got snubbed in this category, I'm fucking tired of hearing about this movie. I don't like watching game shows on tv period, let alone going to the theater to watch a film about a game show. However, I will Netflix it in the future and that's only because I like Danny Boyle's work, but all the 'Slumdog' hype leaves me unimpressed.

December is going to be a busy month for Michael, and January will be worse, so I hope that he is taking his vitamins and getting plenty of beauty rest because he's going to need it. IFC doesn't have the money to buy ads on Variety, The Envelope, or Awards Daily, etc., to name a few, so fans like me, blogger critics, and self pimping by Michael and Steve will have to suffice. And dammit, with us all focused on the same prize, they may just come out on top in the end.

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