Thursday, December 31, 2015

A 2015 Year in Review of Michael Fassbender

As 2015 comes to a close, this year proved to be yet another year which showcased the diverse talent of Michael Fassbender. Mere weeks before he is expected to receive his second Oscar nomination, Fassinating Fassbender looks back on 2015 which lead to this awesome achievement.


Basically the year begins and ends on discussions surrounding Michael’s performance as communications, Mac computer, and Iphone/Ipod pioneer, Steve Jobs, in ‘Steve Jobs’. After an embarrassing hacking leak of Sony emails in late 2014, we read the behind the scenes producer vs studio bickering about the Steve Jobs project. With all eyes now on the actor who would eventually prove the naysayers wrong, Michael Fassbender starts filming Steve Jobs in California. In this same month, Michael’s first Western and a film he produced, Slow West, screened at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize.


After working with Michael in Macbeth, Marion Cotillard signed on to star in Assassin’s Creed. And showing great confidence in Steve Jobs, Universal Studios announced the October release date for the film. The third annual Michael Fassbender birthday fundraiser supporting TBE begins this month.


There wasn’t much Michael news this month, however, the birthday fundraiser was in full swing with almost daily updates to remind readers and ask for donations to help a very worthy cause.


For Michael’s 38th birthday, FF raised 903GBP ($1,331) for The Bike Exchange. We were shy of our goal, but you know what, TBE got 903GBP because of this fundraiser. Also, things start to heat up – Michael was spotted with his The Light Between Oceans co-star, Alicia Vikander in NYC in a PDA embrace. Some fans lose their minds in outrage; others are in glee, while the rest mind their own business. Macbeth nabs an In Competition spot at Cannes.


Michael headed to Montreal to start filming X-Men: Apocalypse. The first sneak peek preview of Steve Jobs is released. At Cannes, Macbeth received a roaring ovation!


An official trailer for Macbeth was released. Michael was interviewed by The Independent in what would become one of the most interesting and eye-opening interviews about Michael this year. And did you read the FF article on five film remakes that should be made starring Michael? It was a fun article to write.


Michael & Jennifer Lawrence
The official Steve Jobs trailer drops and it’s fantastic! The annual Comic Con in San Diego welcomed the entire cast of X-Men: Apocalypse and Michael is the center of attention. He and James McAvoy make an appearance on Conan O’Brien. Michael also appears on the cover of the July 24th issue of Entertainment Weekly. A remarkable special appearance opportunity presented itself this month in Montreal. Michael did a live reading of The Big Lebowski as The Dude to much fanfare! Michael received so much great press for this as it’s so different from all the dark and angry characters he has played of late on the big screen. This was a fantastic opportunity for him to showcase his Live acting chops and comedic acting abilities. If you didn’t know Michael Fassbender before the reading, you certainly did afterwards. And to my disappointment, it appears that Steve Jobs is going to skip screening at TIFF, which I believe was a huge mistake on Universal’s part. Huge. And to add salt to the wound, it would screen at Telluride and NY Film Festival, both festivals sandwich TIFF. Ouch. Also, fans are starting to get worried about the handling of Macbeth by The Weinstein Company. This film was not listed on the studio’s website and was not going to screen at any fall festivals.


Michael has dinner with Ridley Scott and friends in London and wild gossiping starts about why they had dinner and who else attended said dinner. The one sheet poster for Steve Jobs is released, and a boat load of stills from Macbeth are released too. The internet goes wild with first images of Michael as Callum Lynch (a new character) in Assassin’s Creed. This is a clear indication of the worldwide interest in this video game turn film franchise, produced by Michael’s DMC Film production company.


After months of foot dragging, The Weinstein Company announced a US release date for Macbeth (Dec 4th). And as the Telluride Film Festival announces its lineup, Steve Jobs is listed, but due to Michael’s filming schedule of Assassin’s Creed in Malta, he was not able to fly to Colorado. However, once Steve Jobs screened at Telluride, social media lit up like crazy with praise for Michael’s performance! And days after that, Weinstein announced a wide release for Macbeth! Read my theory on the Double Whammy. September is practically Michael Fassbender’s debutante ball debut as he was everywhere. The New York Times even featured a profile of him. This month also marked the first time that Michael started working with his DMC Film twitter account where they posted updates about his filming of Assassin’s Creed, and initiated a fundraiser for the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS). I immediately make a donation which prompted DMC Film to publicly thank me on twitter and to poke other Fassy fan groups to join in the fundraiser! Macbeth (aka, The Scottish Play) had a red carpet premiere in Edinburgh!


Michael & Kate Winslet
Michael attended the Steve Jobs Centerpiece screening at the New York Film Festival. And the cast of Steve Jobs was the cover story on the October 16th issue of The Hollywood Reporter. When Steve Jobs opened in limited release, for the year of 2015, it had the best per screen average of any limited release film! Steve Jobs has earned a solid 82 on the Metacritic. Unfortunately, an excellent film, with excellent performances did not resonate as well in full US release. While under normal conditions this should not have any effect on the quality of the film, some in the media and bloggers took glee over the weak wide release ticket sales and ran with it to use against the film and diminish the film and especially Michael’s performance. In coming weeks, it will be all too clear who these paid pundits are really rooting for while suppressing Michael’s and other actor’s outstanding work. Steve Jobs as it turned out is a niche prestige film for niche high-brow audiences that are receptive to heavy dialogue films, not your standard Joe and Jill Q. Public and should have never gone into such a wide release. Read two widely read FF articles on this subject, Box Office: Prestige vs Commercial, and The Misappropriated Usage of the term ‘Flop’, they put things into perspective. Meanwhile, Michael continues to work on Assassin’s Creed, and no other actor this year has two films premiering simultaneously across both sides of the pond: Steve Jobs in US, and Macbeth in UK, both garnering high critical praise. Read my Steve Jobs review.


Steve Jobs opened in the UK this month, and Michael and Kate Winslet appeared on the Graham Norton show – it was pretty funny. Macbeth received six BIFA nominations!


In a one-two punch, the Palm Springs Int’l Film Festival (PSIFF) announced on Dec 4th that Michael would be honored with the International Star Award Male on its January 2nd awards gala. After a few days of finagling, I managed to make it work for me to attend this event. I’m going not only with a dear friend, a cinephile, a film festival lover, but I’m attending to support Michael as he receives this wonderful honor. And on Dec 6th, Michael won his first really big critic’s award this season as Best Actor from the LA Film Critics. A fantastic win and honor by a critics group that really matter and count! Michael needed this win to stay in the Oscar nomination discussion. And Michael is one of only five actors to win this particular critic’s group Best Actor honor twice. All the other winners are now Oscar winners. Michael also goes on to be nominated for the SAG and a Golden Globes. I get the chance to see Macbeth and enjoyed it very much (review)! Michael spends Christmas in Killarney with his family, and me and other donors to the October MOAS fundraiser with DMC Film receive our signed autograph pictures of Michael as Magneto.

As you can see, the year 2015 was a particularly productive, busy, and rewarding year for Michael. I felt on the defensive for him quite a few times and my defense was warranted. While I battled with some health problems and disturbing crap at a former employer, I always looked forward to updating the Fassinating Fassbender blog, and the Fassinating Fassbender Facebook page with the latest on Michael. Now that I’m in great health and working at a new job, it’s been even more fun, rewarding, and motivational to update the various FF social media formats. He’s such an inspiring and admirable person, and an undeniable talent that I’m proud to support and celebrate. This year is ending on a high for both me and Michael, and I know that 2016 is going to be an even better year. I like to thank all the readers who continuously rely on FF for their source of Michael Fassbender news and updates, regular posters who offer thought provoking commentary, and I thank my team of admin staff (Marjan, Stephanie, Vera, and Martha) for their continued support in keeping FF & FFF fresh, engaging, and informative.

Happy New Year!

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