I never even heard of Michael Fassbender before he was in X-Men: First Class (2011)
Michael Fassbender in X-Men First Class
Fassbender was really great and his performance as Erik Lensherr / Magneto was the best in the picture and made the picture for me. Every film needs a great antagonist and he was it for me. Technically Kevin Bacon was the film’s chief antagonist, but we all know the real story was between Xavier and Magneto.
Michael Fassbender in Shame
When I read that Fassbender’s next role was going to be in a disputed piece about sex addiction called Shame (2011), that was NC-17, I was very intrigued. I thought this really great actor is going to have a chance to shine in a dramatic piece that would take a no holds barred approach into a risqué subject matter. I even wrote about the film on the ‘Nother Brother Entertainment blog before I even saw it.
Well maybe my anticipation was too great because I didn’t like his performance in Shame. I liked the film as a whole and thought he did a good job, but it was not the performance I thought he would give.
Fassbender and Mulligan in Shame
Concurrently Carey Mulligan who I thought was good in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) was outstanding in Shame. When there were talks among my online friends @NotherBrother that Fassbender was snubbed across the awards circuit I thought nah b. He wasn’t that great. Also for the record I re-watched Shame last week and my feelings haven't changed.
I said all the above to say that the actor I knew he was is BACK!
Michael Fassbender in Prometheus
His performance in Prometheus was truly outstanding! It’s the best performance I've seen in film in 2012 thus far. Period. His performance as David was so nuanced and meticulous it made David THE standout character in an otherwise excellent film.
Now how is this great performance in a summer sci-fi/action/horror flick like Prometheus gonna get recognized?
1. The director Ridley Scott is well respected among the industry.
2. It has a major budget and studio behind it—20th Century Fox
3. The technical achievement is undeniable. Whatever you think about Prometheus, one cannot deny its brilliant technical achievements.
A film that was truly forgettable won a slew of awards earlier this year. At the 84th Academy Awards, Hugo received five Oscars—for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing—and its 11 total nominations (including Best Picture) was the most for the evening.
I thought a great Oscar nomination performance was given by Adepero Oduye in Pariah (2011), but that film had none of the details I numerated above. Oscars ARE a personality/status contest as much as it is about the achievement in film. You must be firing on all cylinders in order to get major awards recognition. Most times it’s not enough to be great, unfortunate, but true.
I think in the evitable Oscar push 20th Century Fox will do for its films at the end of the year I don’t see them NOT including Prometheus in the bunch. If you recognize Prometheus you must recognize Michael Fassbender. I said. I wrote. I stand by it.
Read my review of Prometheushere
Read my review of Pariahhere
THR: Was there a part of the script that you’re particularly proud of?
Lindelof: I was really interested in and catalyzed by the robot, David [played by Michael Fassbender] -- I felt like he was going to become the central figure of the movie. Because in the genealogical chain of things, there are these beings that may or may mot have created us, then there's us, and then there's the being that we created in our own image. So we're on a mission to ask our creators why they made us, and he's there amongst hiscreators, and he's not impressed. Oddly enough, the one nonhuman human on this ship -- that's sort of a prison -- exists to question why it is we're doing this in the first place. And then Michael made me look like I really know what I'm doing, so I'm particularly proud of all the David stuff.