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Entries in Michael Fassbender (104)


Michael Fassbender is embarrassed by his Magneto

by Murtada

Michael Fassbender gives good quote. Following a career retrospective tribute at Toronto this week, he was interviewed on stage by TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey. Fassbender came on candid and ready to tell good stories. Here are excerpts from the conversation as reported by Vulture:

He reportedly cringed while watching a clip from X-Men:Days of Future Past (2014):

"I don’t actually like that performance there, to be honest. I just think it’s me shouting. It’s just like some dude shouting."

He based the android David in Ridley Scott's Prometheus (2012) on David Bowie and Greg Louganis:

"My mom was a fan of Greg Louganis and I just remember watching the Olympics thinking his walk was so funny and mesmerizing, the economy of movement."

He thought he was miscast as Steve Jobs (2015)

"He [Aaron Sorkin]wrote all that stuff! It was so dense! It was such a mountain, and I’m a slow learner, so when the script arrived for me and the opportunity came to play the part, I really thought, This is not me. This should be somebody else. It’s a miscast scenario.”

Co-star Liam Cunningham moved into his place to rehearse their long 23-minute interrogation scene in Hunger (2008)

We got up every morning, cooked porridge, and we started rehearsing. "We did it every day for 11 days. The goal was to do it ten to 15 times a day and then Steve [McQueen] would come in in the evening and watch us, give us some notes, next day same thing.

Fassbender is at TIFF with his latest Trespass Against Us, which is about a conflict within a clan of Irish outlaws. It’s the feature debut of music video director Adam Smith, co-stars Brendan Gleeson and has an original score by The Chemical Brothers.

What is your favorite Fassbender performance? And has he ever made you cringe?


Reasons Why Rachel Weisz is in "The Light Between Oceans"

by Murtada

Mild Spoilers, proceed with caution.

The Light Between Oceans opened this past weekend to OK reviews (including a positive one from Nathaniel). But as I sat watching Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander fall in love, I was waiting for Rachel Weisz. And I kept waiting. She appears very late in the film and even then her character is still secondary to the main narrative. So I tried to imagine why would Weisz take this part. Why would she play second fiddle to an up-and-comer (Vikander wasn’t well known when this was shot almost 2 years ago).

And actually there a few good reasons: 

• Shooting in gorgeous New Zealand. Besides the knitwear, the locations are the most breathtakingly beautiful thing in Light. Weisz never actually makes it to the lighthouse, but the quaint town where her character is ensconced has beauty to spare.

• Deepening her relationship with Derek Cianfrance. Apparently an early iteration of Blue Valentine (2010) was supposed to star Weisz and Jeremy Renner. It fell through because of financing woes.

• Sharing scenes with Michael Fassbender. What an actor, what a man. Maybe Weisz was shown pictures of him in period undershirts - his best look in the movie - and that's why she signed on. 

Three very good reasons (besides liking the story and the part). Have you seen Light yet? And could you imagine Blue Valentine without Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling? 

Quickie Reviews: The Light Between Oceans and The Jungle Book

by Nathaniel R

Apologies that there's no big review this weekend but I do hope you'll check out the Fassbender & Vikander flick. Here are two quick takes on movie options this weekend.


The Light Between Oceans (Derek Cianfrance)
Story: A war veteran (Michael Fassbender) takes a position as a lighthouse keeper where he falls in love with a local girl (Alicia Vikander). Their lives change irrevocably when they discover an orphaned baby in a boat.
Review: A pop quiz. Which is more ravishing?

  • Real life romantic chemistry that translates intact to movie screens.
  • Romantic dramas that don't stop at sexy but get across how comforting and life-changing love and companionship can be.
  • Picturesque rocky islands and lighthouses softened at their edges by grassy tenderness and the windswept beauty of two definitely cinematic brunettes.

Trick question -- they're all super ravishing! I've heard the complaints that The Light Between Oceans is "dull" or "has no edge" and it's definitely soggier and lacking in the instantaneously memorable moments of Cianfrance's previous outings Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines. But I kind of loved it while I was watching it. At least the first half. It loses its way a little in the third act as the tragedy stretches out and the film shifts to Rachel Weisz but it's uncommonly gorgeous to gaze upon and cry through. 
Grade: B+ (maybe B towards the end)
Oscar Chances: Perhaps it's not potent enough to hold on for months to win acting nominations -- though Fassbender & Vikander are both excellent -- but I'm crossing my fingers for Best Cinematography. Take a bow, Adam Arkapaw. (His previous credits include Macbeth, Lore, and Animal Kingdom). It also feels like a possibility for Score (Alexandre Desplat) though that's a little overbearing. 


The Jungle Book (Jon Favreau)
Story: You know this one already. A boy is raised by animals in the jungle. No, not that white one with the apes. The little Indian boy raised by wolves and panthers and bears, oh my. The problem: a tiger wants him dead.
Review: Can you believe we never reviewed this? Though it's somewhat ravishing to look at as a technical achievement, in truth I was not particularly fond of it and found it difficult to write about. The problem was that it doesn't have an identity of its own to discuss. Favreau trusts that fond memories of the Disney animated classic it apes (pun not intended) will win your love. He and his team trust in this so completely that they even graft on two and a half highly uncomfortable musical numbers despite the fact that this Jungle Book definitely does not self-identify as a musical, it's one characteristic that immediately sets its apart from the original. Until it doesn't.  Great voice work by Idris Elba as Shere Khan. 
Oscar Chances: Most definitely. At least a visual effects nomination. Perhaps sound as well?
Grade: C/C+   

P.S. If you liked it more, I'd love to hear why. Its long legs at the box office indicate that it wasn't just brand recognition but actual audience love that made it an enormous hit.


Derek Cianfrance: the Now and the Next

by Josh Forward

Derek Cianfrance, the man who made cinema fans everyway sit bolt upright with excitement at his stunning debut Blue Valentine is about to release his third feature The Light Between Oceans. Both films, and his second, the multi-generation epic The Place Beyond the Pines, show his preoccupation with the dark intricacies of doomed romances and families pouring out into gripping cinema. His talent with actors is evident again: Reviews are mixed to positive for the film overall, but leads Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, along with supporting player Rachel Weisz are all solidly praised.

Opening wide and based on a popular novel, this is Cianfrance's first dalliance with what could be considered a "mainstream" film. As much as his cinematic fascination with the mucky and the unflinching darkness in human nature can be mainstream at least. But it does have a more traditional narrative and sweeping landscapes to match. The words "sentimental" and "soap opera" are even being bandied around.

His next project, announced this week, may prove a progression of this trajectory. It's another literary adaptation, this time of S.C. Gwynne’s “Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History". The scale of the story is epic, and it could be his biggest movie yet. Although this is a story without tortured lovers (at least as its driving force), when Cianfrance discusses it, it still sounds firmly in his wheelhouse...

The passing of the torch, passing of pain, and decisions, and the ripple effect of decisions".

The same quote could easily be said about The Place Beyond the Pines.

This film has taken a long journey to screen. A screenplay based on the same book was developed in 2010 by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, the Oscar winning screenwriters of Brokeback Mountain. This would have been their first film since that masterpiece in 2005, but this adaptation appears to have nothing to do with this development, with the script written by Cianfrance himself with his Pines co-writer Darius Marder over the last three years. It's a shame we won't see another script yet from current one hit wonders McMurty and Ossana, but Cianfrance has certainly earned his auteur stripes and screenwriting chops. 

No actors have been attached yet, but cross all fingers and toes that some great Native American actors find representation on our screens.


What's Next for this Past Season's Actors - Part 2

Murtada here to continue the conversation about upcoming projects from actors who've just walked red carpets and absorbed whatever limelight got past the Leo coronation. We've dealt with the winners and the actresses, let's turn our attention to the men.

Christian Bale: Coming up first is The Promise with Oscar Isaac and Charlotte Le Bon (The Walk), a love triangle set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. He recently signed on to star in Scott Cooper’s Western drama Hostiles.

Click to read more ...


YNMS: The Light Between Oceans

Lynn here, offering a little break from the frenzy of this year’s Oscars homestretch to ponder a possible future awards contender…

Fall, it seems so far away!  But it’s never too early to start thinking of the potential Oscars slate for next season, especially when you’ve got an adaptation of a popular book that features two mega-hot rising stars coming off fresh Oscar nominations and one Oscar winner who’s a bona fide screen goddess.  That would be The Light Between Oceans, which just dropped its first trailer yesterday.  Based on the bestselling novel by M.L. Stedman, it’s directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines) and stars Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, and Rachel Weisz.

Let’s break down the trailer, YNMS-style after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Best Actor: The Year of the Ham

As noted by the recently departed Alan Rickman on his BAFTA win for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves "Subtlety isn't everything." As far as Oscar is concerned, this year Best Actor was go big or go home. Take a look the leading men outside the bubble and you'll find mostly nuanced performances like those from Michael B. Jordan, Tom Courtenay, and Tom Hanks with their scenery unchewed. Rewarding more broad work has made this the Year of the Ham.

Some of the bigger choices have been more welcome than others in this field, so let's have some fun assessing the hammage:

Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Clearly the most guilty of going big for its own sake, Cranston's nomination leaves quite a sour taste in your mouth. The performance feels built upon arched shoulders and mustaches, even if Cranston is a game actor admirably going along with the film's schlocky tone. It's not just the scenery getting chewed, but the script, the costumes, the camera, and poor Diane Lane. It's so hammy, he even shows us his hams in a prison scene.
Level of Ham: SPAM - some people like it? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Matt Damon - The Martian
Here's a role that actually calls upon the actor to be a ham. Matt Damon gets to use more of his natural charm than he has in anything outside of the Ocean's franchise and spends much of his performance breaking the fourth wall. He leans in on the nerd humor that's heavy on puns and dirty words, but thankfully never goes full broski. Everything lands, including his unexpected emotional moments, but this a performance playing right to the crowd. The visible hams are an obvious emaciated stunt double.
Level of Ham: Honey-Baked - generally pleasing to everyone

Click to read more ...