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Fox Searchlight Acquires Shame, One of 2011's Best Films

Fox Searchlight continues its commitment to back daring and brilliant work with its acquisition of Steve McQueen’s Shame, one of the best films to play Telluride, and I’m going to be, the entire year.  They’ve already got Tree of Life and Martha Macy Mary Marlene – and to add Shame to that list is a marvel. They are also distributing the other best film I saw in Telluride, The Descendants.   Looks to be an interesting awards year for Searchlight.

“Steve McQueen’s courageous exploration of modern life’s extremes is breathtaking.  He has crafted an extraordinary film that probes some of the deepest and darkest issues ever portrayed on screen with amazingly gifted performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan,” said Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula.

“This is a brave statement and an important move by Fox Searchlight.   I am very happy they came on board to release Shame in the U.S.  It’s great to be working with a team that is so passionate about cinema,” said McQueen.

Step one – make a brilliant, uncompromising film that says something new about the human experience, the need for real intimacy, and the power of addiction. Step two – show it at a film fest and get a powerful distrib to back it. Step three – hope word of mouth gets people into the theater to see it. Step four – hope that people are not too put off my extreme sexuality (a bunch of babies, hell, in the 1970s and even in the 1980s there were films that explored sexuality — but we didn’t live in an infantilized culture then).  Step five – can the Academy recognize, if nothing else, Fassbender and Mulligan with acting nods? Perhaps also a screenplay nod?

We will have to wait and see how the drama plays out.  But one thing’s for sure – Shame will be among the most talked about films of the year.