Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Studio Needs to Promote Michael Fassbender's Edwin Epps - Stat!

Someone asked me a question on Twitter this morning if Michael Fassbender would attend any awards ceremonies in January, specifically the SAGs and Golden Globes. While I’m not sure exactly when filming for MacBeth in New Zealand will begin in January, only if time permits, it’s my belief that Michael, being the consummate professional and having such a strong team support spirit, he will attend. If he’s nominated for an Oscar, that broadcast is on March 2nd, a date that comes many weeks after filming for Macbeth has started. I believe he will attend the Oscars too. At this point in Michael’s career, besides the success of Inglorious Basterds, 12 Years a Slave is the first feature film that Michael is in that has the best chances of earning the Best Picture Oscar. As his response to his GG nomination last week is any indication, he is so proud of this film, and of the work that he and his co-stars and best friend director achieved, it provides insight into his plans to support this film.

I am 100% behind Michael’s previous comments about being too busy filming (which he has been) to participate in campaigning for awards. He’s been there and done that, and his efforts did absolutely nothing to warm the hearts of AMPAS – if anything, they insulted his snub with the name of a little known actor who did nothing to campaign an Oscar nomination. So that situation in and of itself demonstrates that campaigning really doesn’t do anything for an actor to get nominated.

However, what I am noticing is the smart campaigning that Focus Features has been doing for the Dallas Buyers Club, and in particular, with Jared Leto. As I’ve stated before, Jared was wonderful in DBC and when I saw it at TIFF in September, I knew he would be deserving of awards and the ultimate Oscar nomination. But in the four weeks that DBC has been out, promotional For Your Consideration ads for the film and especially Jared have been none stop and nearly everywhere. I. MEAN. EVERYWHERE. Focus Features is tweeting left and right about Jared’s critical wins, and even through Jared is touring with his rock band, 30 Seconds From Mars, he has time to express his sincere awe about the reception to his performance, and providing great interviews about his preparation and inspiration for his role as Rayon in DBC. And as recently as just this morning, this tweet appeared in my timeline:
The Stigma Project ‏@Stigma_Project 9h
Love him! @HIVPlusMag Jared Leto talks about playing an HIV+ woman, losing a friend to AIDS, and Dallas Buyers Club http://www.hivplusmag.com/people/cover-stories/2013/12/16/jared-letos-role-lifetime
Retweeted by Focus Features

How in the hell can you beat this? Is the studio for 12YAS going to promote Michael Fassbender like this?  Someone needs to help remind critics and the actor’s guilds about the complete bravery, and the psychological preparation that it took for Michael Fassbender to breathe life into the man Edwin Epps. If Jared is doing this for an already easy to love character, someone has to offer Michael assistance, or act on his behalf and sponsor campaign sound bites to promote the brilliant performance that went into creating Epps. So far, two brave critics’ boards have named Michael as the Best Supporting Actor winner this week (Kansas City Film Critics, and the Online Film Critics). Otherwise, Jared has won the bulk of the critics’ awards, and the supporting actor from Nebraska has won a few. Michael Fassbender’s Edwin Epps is not lovable, he’s not someone that Michael can say he looked to a friend as inspiration, it’s not a character that Michael can relate to besides being human, and Epps brutalized and destroyed two other sympathetic characters that have also been consistently winning most of their categories thus far (Chiwetel and Lupita).

It’s not over until the fat lady sings, and she is very big, has a very loud voice and the song is long. However, if due to filming commitments Michael Fassbender is not able to campaign to match the campaign efforts of the Leto Camp, someone at (Regency Enterprises, Film4, River Road Entertainment, Plan B, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Summit Entertainment) needs to campaign on behalf of Michael if they want three actors from this film to reap their just rewards. I must admit, it would bum me out if Michael goes all the way to receive an Oscar nomination, and he is the only nominated actor to not win in his third McQueen film because the studio failed to remind voters and critics that there is a very beautiful, compassionate, brilliant actor behind the fa├žade of one of the most vile performances of 2013. Michael Fassbender needs the studio and production companies behind 12 Years a Slave to stand up for him and promote the chameleon actor who genuinely gave the best supporting actor performance this year.


Karen V. Wasylowski said...

Absolutely agree with you, because rarely does a deserving performance win the award. The nomination is the real recognition, but award seems to be who pays the most. Sometimes. I don't know. I am praying for Judi Dench to win but the big press is pushing for Cate Blanchett. Michael is brilliant and it is inevitable that he'll win. I hope.

Anonymous said...

I follow most major film studios and Jared Leto on Twitter - and the effort that the studios and Leto himself are putting into promoting the film and his character is phenomenal.

I also saw both of these films at TIFF, and throughout the festival, the performances in 12 Years a Slave were hailed as the most awards-worthy (at the time).

While Dallas Buyers Club was great, 12 Years a Slave has stuck with me as a far superior film-going experience. It's a cohesive effort, where every single actor carried an important and difficult weight (Fassbender included). 12 Years a Slave is a better (although more emotionally grueling) film.

I love what you've said about Jared Leto's performance. It is heartbreaking and tender - but, the character is EASY to love, and easy for audiences to sympathize with.
From watching 12 Years a Slave, and catching interviews with Steve McQueen and Michael, it seems that NOTHING about making 12 Years a Slave was "EASY" - which is why I think Michael's performance is so much more deserving of awards than Leto's.

Epps is a terrifying and vulgar brute, that could've been a one-note villain; but Michael plays him as a complex (though still evil) human being.

While I hope that Michael will win the supporting actor Oscar this year, I feel like the Academy voters rarely stray from the pre-season "status-quo" - which, unfortunately for Michael, has Leto in the lead.

Let's hope the studio starts seriously campaigning for Michael...

also... I think it's absolutely wonderful that Steve McQueen, Chiwetel and Lupita are garnering the awards recognition that they absolutely deserve for 12 Years a Slave. I can't say enough about how much I love this film.

Simone said...

Yes, Leto and the studio is going all out in getting him that Oscar. Let's face it, Leto's win could be the only Oscar 'Dallas' would get, and they are going for it. Meanwhile, 12YAS could win, at the least, 5 awards, and Michael Fassbender could be the sacrificial lamb to spread the Oscar gold to other films and performers.

Who had the more difficult role? It's easy to say Michael, but when it comes to Hollywood, they do love to LOVE their actor's characters.

Hupsakeek said...

I can't say anything about the Dallas Buyers Club because most of the films you talk about aren't out in The Netherlands yet.(I'm glad I was amongst 'the happy few' who saw the pre screening of 12YAS). But I agree on the comment of Simone. Hollywood embrace the 'safe/good' characters. The acting of Michael stands out, but will it be enough? I do hope so, but sometimes I get the feeling that a lot of people in the film industry don't want him to evolve to the status he deserves. Is it because he is an European? Is it because we see his qualities while others are in denial? Is it because he is a down to earth kind of guy? I don't know, but I do hope that nobody will dim his sparkle, because a true star will always shine!

Sheila said...

I agree with everything you said, and I feel like the company needs to do some promotions for his role. However, in terms of Oscar nominations/possibly winning, I have a certain theory. I've done some online researching and noticed that the academy chooses their oscar winners/nominees not only based on their role that they were nominated for, but their previous roles as well. I have no doubt that the academy will make the same mistake when it comes to giving the nomination to Michael. In terms of voting, I do believe that they will take into consideration the previous work as well, hopefully.
I also when Mo'Nique won the best supporting actress for "Precious" in 2009, and she didn't campaign for her oscar either, which gives me hope that Michael still has a definite chance.
I do agree that Jared Leto is probably the biggest competition for Michael, and he's been winning a lot of critics awards, but I think we can't make our assumptions until the bigger awards come around such as GG, BAFTA, and SAG.

Vera said...

I finally saw TYAS this weekend and it was an overwhelming experience.
I honestly tried to view Epps as a human being (for Michael's sake!!!) but, unfortunately, could not make myself do it. And I bet I was not the only one. Which can only be thanks to incredible talent and effort of a certain actor. So to me it's surprising if Michael doesn't win all the nominations. But I'm not on the nomination commitee anywhere.

Hupsakeek said...

Read this.... From entertainment.ie