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.

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  1. Jeremy
    September 9, 2011

    I think Michael Fassbender is one of the best actors of these late years. He was astounding in Hunger, i have no doubt of what a marvelous film Shame must be, with an amazing leading performance by Fassbender. I hope we can see more of McQueen with Fassbender, they work extraordinary together! I already see Michael getting his first nod this year …

  2. Jeremy
    September 9, 2011

    I think Michael Fassbender is one of the best actors of these late years. He was astounding in Hunger, i have no doubt of what a marvelous film Shame must be, with an amazing leading performance by Fassbender. I hope we can see more of McQueen with Fassbender, they work extraordinary together! I already see Michael getting his first nod this year …

  3. Dean
    September 9, 2011

    Theoretically, would Mulligan be campaigned as lead or supporting?

  4. Dean
    September 9, 2011

    Theoretically, would Mulligan be campaigned as lead or supporting?

  5. Jeremy
    September 9, 2011

    I think supporting . at least, she will have more chances.

  6. Jeremy
    September 9, 2011

    I think supporting . at least, she will have more chances.

  7. DaneM
    September 9, 2011

    Can/will an NC-17 film win Best Picture? It’s possible but I don’t see it happening. Not yet.

  8. DaneM
    September 9, 2011

    Can/will an NC-17 film win Best Picture? It’s possible but I don’t see it happening. Not yet.

  9. Beth Stevens
    September 9, 2011

    Midnight Cowboy won BP. So anything’s possible (or used to be).

    Yay for Fox Searchlight! This means I might actually get to see Shame on the big screen one of these days.

  10. Beth Stevens
    September 9, 2011

    Midnight Cowboy won BP. So anything’s possible (or used to be).

    Yay for Fox Searchlight! This means I might actually get to see Shame on the big screen one of these days.

  11. Zane
    September 9, 2011

    They also have Win Win which I thought was really good too.

  12. Zane
    September 9, 2011

    They also have Win Win which I thought was really good too.

  13. Paddy M
    September 10, 2011

    @ Dane M

    Hell no. The only NC-17 rated film to have ever been nominated for an Oscar is Henry & June, the first NC-17 film, back when it wasn’t such a taboo. Such a radical film as Shame has an uphill battle to even be considered, but with Fox Searchlight on board, chances are looking up.

    I so hope Shame commands the attention of Hollywood. Hunger was my favourite film of 2008 and a true masterpiece, and I’m expecting Shame to be nothing less. Though let’s hope Fox Searchlight don’t decide to bury it, and focus their efforts on The Descendants, The Tree of Life, Martha Marcy May Marlene and Win Win, all of which have more awards potential.

  14. Paddy M
    September 10, 2011

    @ Dane M

    Hell no. The only NC-17 rated film to have ever been nominated for an Oscar is Henry & June, the first NC-17 film, back when it wasn’t such a taboo. Such a radical film as Shame has an uphill battle to even be considered, but with Fox Searchlight on board, chances are looking up.

    I so hope Shame commands the attention of Hollywood. Hunger was my favourite film of 2008 and a true masterpiece, and I’m expecting Shame to be nothing less. Though let’s hope Fox Searchlight don’t decide to bury it, and focus their efforts on The Descendants, The Tree of Life, Martha Marcy May Marlene and Win Win, all of which have more awards potential.

  15. Jenny
    September 10, 2011

    I just want this film to be on big screen this year and be recognize by Oscar. It’ll be a real “shame” if this film get overlooked due to its NC-17 rating.

  16. Jenny
    September 10, 2011

    I just want this film to be on big screen this year and be recognize by Oscar. It’ll be a real “shame” if this film get overlooked due to its NC-17 rating.

  17. phantom
    September 10, 2011

    I think Sasha is spot-on : the film’s best shot is at actor, (supporting) actress, original screenplay. 3 important nods/wins, this way McQueen and the universally acclaimed performances would be recognized without nominating the film in the top2 categories.

  18. phantom
    September 10, 2011

    I think Sasha is spot-on : the film’s best shot is at actor, (supporting) actress, original screenplay. 3 important nods/wins, this way McQueen and the universally acclaimed performances would be recognized without nominating the film in the top2 categories.

  19. Tero Heikkinen
    September 10, 2011

    How’s unrated then? Ellen Burstyn was nominated for Requiem for a Dream.

  20. Tero Heikkinen
    September 10, 2011

    How’s unrated then? Ellen Burstyn was nominated for Requiem for a Dream.

  21. Pierre de Plume
    September 10, 2011

    As I recall — and correct me if I’m wrong — last year’s exception to any NC-17 stigma that may exist was Blue Valentine. In the end, Michelle Williams benefitted from the effort to emphasize the film’s artistic merit. Shame, likewise, could follow a similar path. I would think that McQueen’s key contributions to the project provides strong credentials to many in Hollywood — enough to make it a contender in a few categories.

  22. Pierre de Plume
    September 10, 2011

    As I recall — and correct me if I’m wrong — last year’s exception to any NC-17 stigma that may exist was Blue Valentine. In the end, Michelle Williams benefitted from the effort to emphasize the film’s artistic merit. Shame, likewise, could follow a similar path. I would think that McQueen’s key contributions to the project provides strong credentials to many in Hollywood — enough to make it a contender in a few categories.

  23. menyc
    September 10, 2011

    I’m hoping all the old geezers in ampas are senile enough to think the original McQueen is still alive and directed Shame. So they all vote it in.

  24. menyc
    September 10, 2011

    I’m hoping all the old geezers in ampas are senile enough to think the original McQueen is still alive and directed Shame. So they all vote it in.

  25. Vitaliy
    September 10, 2011

    Oldman’s biggest competition in the Best Actor race…until Bale sneaks in with The Flowers of War.

  26. Vitaliy
    September 10, 2011

    Oldman’s biggest competition in the Best Actor race…until Bale sneaks in with The Flowers of War.

  27. Simon Warrasch
    September 11, 2011

    Right now i cross so hard my fingers that it really hurty already for Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan! I pray to God that Michael and Carey will be nominated! I mean their performances are obviously too good for Oscar!

    If i had to predict right now, i would predict:

    Leading Actor

    Leonardo Di Caprio – J. Edgar
    Jean Dujardin – The Artist
    Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    Brad Pitt – Moneyball
    Michael Fassbender – Shame

    Leading Actress

    Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
    Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
    Michelle Williams – My week with Marilyn
    Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Kate Winslet – Carnage

    Supporting Actor

    John Hawkes – Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Tom Hardy – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    Kennath Branagh – My week with Marilyn
    Christopher Plummer – The Beginners
    Nick Nolte – Warrior

    Supporting Actress

    Sandra Bullock – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Naomi Watts – J. Edgar
    Viola Davis – The Help
    Carey Mulligan – Shame
    Jessica Chastain – (for one of the million movies she plays in 2011)

  28. Simon Warrasch
    September 11, 2011

    Right now i cross so hard my fingers that it really hurty already for Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan! I pray to God that Michael and Carey will be nominated! I mean their performances are obviously too good for Oscar!

    If i had to predict right now, i would predict:

    Leading Actor

    Leonardo Di Caprio – J. Edgar
    Jean Dujardin – The Artist
    Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    Brad Pitt – Moneyball
    Michael Fassbender – Shame

    Leading Actress

    Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
    Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
    Michelle Williams – My week with Marilyn
    Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Kate Winslet – Carnage

    Supporting Actor

    John Hawkes – Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Tom Hardy – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    Kennath Branagh – My week with Marilyn
    Christopher Plummer – The Beginners
    Nick Nolte – Warrior

    Supporting Actress

    Sandra Bullock – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Naomi Watts – J. Edgar
    Viola Davis – The Help
    Carey Mulligan – Shame
    Jessica Chastain – (for one of the million movies she plays in 2011)

  29. Filipe
    September 11, 2011

    Michael Fassbender and Jessica Chastain should win an honorary award for being so awesome in 2011.

  30. Filipe
    September 11, 2011

    Michael Fassbender and Jessica Chastain should win an honorary award for being so awesome in 2011.

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