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Congratulations to the cast and crew of "12 Years a Slave" winning an Oscar for Best Picture

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Post by Admin on Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:33 pm

Michael Fassbender’s a spectacular creature - set to star in “Twelve Years a Slave” with Brad Pitt
Fassbender to work with A-Lister Brad Pitt on new project
Irish Voice Reporter,
Published Saturday, April 27, 2013, 12:53 AM
Updated Saturday, April 27, 2013, 12:53 AM

One of the big end of 2013 film releases, Twelve Years a Slave, stars Brad Pitt and Irish/German actor Michael Fassbender, who supposedly speaks in a pretty cool U.S. Southern accent for the part.

Fassbender, who recently finished shooting the indie flick Frank with Maggie Gyllenhaal in Ireland, received rave reviews from his other Slave co-star Sarah Paulson last week. She told Vanity Fair magazine that the Co. Kerry-raised actor, who just turned 36, is a “spectacular creature,” something his many female fans have known since seeing him disrobe in Shame a couple of years ago!

“I play Michael Fassbender’s wife in the movie,” she said. “He’s really the most spectacular creature. That was a pretty amazing job.

“I play a very horrible, racist woman, but I think the movie is going to be very powerful. I feel very proud to be a part of it. Steve McQueen is a genius, a really special filmmaker.”

The film is set for release on December 27, just in time for Oscar consideration, and brings to life autobiography of Solomon Northup, a black man born and raised in New York during the mid-1800s who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the deep South. Fassbender plays the slave owner who rules Northup’s life for 12 years.

Fassbender and British director McQueen have had great success together in the past. McQueen wrote and directed Shame, which received plenty of critical kudos but was snubbed by perhaps a prudish Oscar membership that didn’t appreciate Fassbender’s all-out nudity.

They also teamed for the 2008 film Hunger which focused on the Irish hunger strikes. Fassbender played Bobby Sands, the first striker who died in 1981.

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Post by Admin on Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:54 pm,0,2500595.story

Five reasons to see '12 Years a Slave,' starring Chiwetel Ejiofor

A trailer for "12 Years a Slave."
By Nicole Sperling

August 31, 2013, 3:08 p.m.

Director Steve McQueen's third feature, "Twelve Years a Slave," screened for the first time Friday evening at the Telluride Film Festival with reviews so strong that its inclusion in this year's Oscar race appears inevitable. While extremely brutal for its depiction of mankind at its absolute worse, the 133-minute epic feels like the must-see film of the fall season, according to critical response.

Based on a true story, the movie tracks Northern-born free man Solomon Northrup (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his kidnapping and bondage into slavery. The film received a standing ovation during its debut and, according to the reviews, there are at least five good reasons to see this film, which Fox Searchlight will open in the U.S. in October.

1. Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance

While his name doesn't roll off the tongue, the British actor has been turning out solid performances for much of his 20-plus-year career. He's best known for his parts in 2006's "Children of Men," "Salt" and "2012." But this is one of the few times he's been able to showcase his formidable talents in a lead role.

"The actor's expression alone conveys a wholly unique set of emotions, blending exasperation, fear and rage that intensifies with each scene," said Indiewire. declares, "Ejiofor makes history palatable as he captures Northup's desire to survive as well as his despair as the weight of his plight increases over time."

2. Breakout performance by newcomer Lupita Nyong'o

Variety calls Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o a "stunning discovery." Playing a young slave girl who has to deal with the unwanted advances of Michael Fassbender's evil plantation owner, Nyong'o appears to hold her own among a cast of impressive actors.

Born in Mexico, raised in Kenya and educated in the U.S., Nyong'o is a graduate of Yale's drama program and has already directed her own documentary about the treatment of Kenya's albino population. She is best known for her role in MTV's 2009 series "Shuga."

3. Steve McQueen's evolution as a filmmaker

Whether it's because of his background as a fine artist or the experience of coming to the American material as a foreigner, British director McQueen seems to have evolved his already impressive filmmaking skills from "Hunger" and "Shame" into a fully realized form in "Slave."

PHOTOS: Hollywood backlot moments

According to the reviews, McQueen isn't afraid to sit with the acts of savagery he's depicting, forcing the audience to suffer alongside the characters with long, uninterrupted takes.

Said Indiewire, '"12 Years a Slave" is a mesmerizing triumph of art and polemics: McQueen turns a topic rendered distant by history into an experience that, short of living through the terrible era it depicts, makes you feel as if you've been there."'

Adds, "McQueen has no fear in depicting the true savagery thrust upon American slaves by their owners. He won't flinch in holding on the image, even if it's graphically disturbing. Slavery was an inhumane evil that McQueen refuses to turn away from."

4. Hans Zimmer's score

Veteran composer Hans Zimmer has been nominated for his musical scores nine times, nabbing the statue for 1995's "The Lion King." But he's never won for a live-action film, even though he was nominated for his work on "Inception," "Gladiator" and "Rain Man," to name a few.

Indiewire describes his score in "Slave" as "pulsating," while Variety says the score that "blends chain-gang clanging with those same foghorn blasts Hans Zimmer used in 'Inception' helps "amplify the tension."

ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll

5. Michael Fassbender as the ruthless villain

Michael Fassbender has worked with McQueen on every one of his features, from playing Irish Republican Bobby Sands in McQueen's debut "Hunger" to embodying the sex addict in the dark, depressing "Shame." Here he takes on the role of evil plantation owner Edwin Epps.

According to Hitfix, he "expertly manages to avoid making Epps one note. Instead of pretending there is some good in Epps, Fassbender and McQueen provide him a range of combustible madness."

"12 Years a Slave" will next appear at the New York and Toronto film festivals before debuting theatrically on Oct. 18.

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Post by Admin on Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:02 pm

September 2, 2013 9:57 AM

Fall movie preview: Sandra Bullock and Michael Fassbender earn critics' praise

(CBS News) Summer 2013 was a record-breaker at the box office -- movie analysts say summer movie sales across the U.S. totaled $4.7 billion, over a 10 percent increase from last summer. Movie attendance jumped nearly 7 percent, leaving industry insiders hopeful that the streak will continue into the fall.

A large portion of the slated 2013 fall releases are based on true stories and the season is long on big-name directors, according to The Huffington Post entertainment editor Michael Hogan, who advises cinephiles look out for upcoming films by Ridley Scott, Ron Howard, and British director Steve McQueen.

"Gravity," starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney is set to be released Oct. 4 and critics are "saying it's her best performance ever. ... It's really Sandra Bullock's movie with an assist by George Clooney," Hogan said Monday on "CBS This Morning." The Alfonso Cuaron-directed film premiered at the Venice Film Festival and tells the story of two astronauts trapped in space.

"All is Lost," directed by J.C. Chandor and starring Robert Redford as the only cast member, will be released Oct. 18. In it, Redford plays an unnamed man stranded at sea in the Indian Ocean and there is no dialogue.

"Rush," out in late September, is an action-packed drama, according to Hogan. The Ron Howard-directed film is about the amazing rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the summer of 1976.

One film in the fall lineup already generating Oscar buzz is Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave," to be released October 18. It's based on a true story about a free-born black man who was sold into slavery in the deep South. The lead actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance is generating Oscar-worthy praise and Hogan said the film is "definitely a frontrunner to get nominated" for a Best Picture Academy Award and possibly a Supporting Actor nomination for Michael Fassbender.

Fassbender also stars in Ridley Scott's "The Counselor," which boasts a script written by Cormac McCarthy, author of "The Road." The cast includes heavyweights like Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Penelope Cruz and Hogan says the film will likely help Fassbender raise his profile. "The Counselor," to be released Oct. 25, is about an attorney, played by Fassbender, on the wrong side of the law.

Other films to look out for this season include "Captain Phillips," starring Tom Hanks, taking on the role of a real-life captain whose ship - the Maersk Alabama - was hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009 and "Enough Said," starring the late James Gandolfini in a lighter, "nice guy" role that breaks from Gandolfini's typecast in his final film project. And "Last Vegas," starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline, is a good choice for the moviegoer seeking a lighter option. The film will be released Nov. 1 and centers around a late-in-life bachelor party in Las Vegas.
© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Post by Admin on Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:35 pm

TIFF reviews are in Michael Fassbender can order his Oscar tux
Irish-German actor performance’s called “brilliant” in "12 Years a Slave"
Irish Voice Reporter
Published Friday, September 13, 2013, 8:11 AM
Updated Friday, September 13, 2013, 8:11 AM

Steve McQueen (left) and Michael Fassbender answer questions at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Looks like Michael Fassbender can order his Academy Awards tux nice and early. His upcoming film '12 Years a Slave', which premiered last weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival, is already racking up huge plaudits.

Telling the harrowing true story of a free black man living in New York who was kidnapped and sold to southern plantation owners in 1841, the film is violent, shocking and by all accounts exceptionally well acted and directed.

Some of the first nighters in Toronto walked out of the screening, such is the intensity of the film, but it received a huge standing ovation afterwards and some pretty amazing critical reviews.

“Stark, visceral and unrelenting, '12 Years a Slave' is not just a great film but a necessary one . . . Fassbender is brilliant,” raved The Guardian in the U.K.

The Irish-German Fassbender plays a brutal slave owner who constantly beats those under his order. And though publications like USA Today reported that 12 Years a Slave is a lock for all the major Oscar nods, Fass isn’t getting all hepped up. Yet.

The critical hosannas are “icing on the cake,” he said. “But the cake is the cake. I really feel it’s a masterwork. I just felt so proud to be a part of it.”

The film reunites Fassbender with his long-time friend, British writer-director Steve McQueen, who he worked with on Hunger and Shame, two other award winning films.

Brad Pitt also has a small co-starring part and is a producer of the film. He too was in Toronto to accept congratulations.

"Steve was the first to ask the big question, 'Why has there not been more films on the American history of slavery?'" Pitt said. "And it was the big question it took a Brit to ask."

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