Fassbender pulled in a haul of nominations for his portrayal of a sex addict in the gritty 2011 drama, including nods for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards (BAFTA).
His performance is now in contention for a top acting prize at the 25th EFAs, where he faces competition from Mads Mikkelsen (Jagten), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour), and The Intouchables co-stars Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy.
Shame is also up for another four trophies, including European Film, European Director for Steve McQueen, European Cinematographer Award and European Editor.
Alongside Shame, the other nominees for European Film 2012 are Amour, Barbara, Jagten, Cesare Deve Morire and The Intouchables.
Kate Winslet is included in the Best Actress category for her turn in Roman Polanski's Carnage, and is up against Margarethe Tiesel (Paradies: Liebe), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Nina Hoss (Barbara), and Emilie Dequenne (A Perdre La Raison).
Dame Helen Mirren will be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony, which will take place in Malta on 1 December (12).
In the political thriller The Ides of March – George Clooney’s adaptation of the stage drama Farragut North – Ryan Gosling stars as Stephen Meyers campaign press secretary to Mike Morris (Clooney) a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Savvy self-assured and blessed with a preternatural ability to spin a story in his candidate’s favor Stephen is a fast-rising figure with a dazzlingly bright future. Unlike his more seasoned – and cynical – campaign-manager boss Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) Stephen all of 30 years old still boasts something of an idealistic streak. He believes in Morris not just as a meal ticket but as someone who just might make the world a better place.
Stephen’s idealism and ambition come into conflict when in the feverish days leading up to the pivotal Ohio primary he suffers a series of judgment lapses that threaten to derail his promising career. Teased with the prospect of a job offer he’s lured into a meeting with Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti) the campaign manager of Morris’ main Democratic rival – a major no-no in a business that prizes loyalty above all else. Later he beds a beguiling young intern Molly (Evan Rachel Wood) who unwittingly drops a bombshell that could very well bring down the entire Morris campaign.
There’s nothing particularly revelatory about Ides of March. Our eyes were long ago opened to the amorality and viciousness of electoral politics. And goodness knows we’ve witnessed political scandals far more salacious than anything depicted in the film. Ides of March’s strength lies in the power of its storytelling in the way that Clooney brings together several distinctive headstrong characters and sets them against each other in a riveting game of intrigue. It helps compensate for the been-there done-that familiarity of the topics explored.
Clooney is very much an actor’s director and Ides of March is a testament to how absorbing it can be to witness skilled performers operating at the peak of their powers. Gosling is particularly fascinating to watch as his character awakens to the severity of his predicament. When Stephen is dismissed from the Morris campaign after Zara learns of his meeting with Duffy the firing triggers in him something akin to a fight-or-flight instinct. His livelihood endangered he scrambles to outwit his former colleagues seizing upon tragedy and scandal to worm his way back into the fold. All pretense of idealism vanishes and his expression betrays the slightest hint of derangement. The game has claimed him.
At the time of Scream’s release in 1996 the state of Hollywood horror was at a pretty low-point. For every Dracula there was a Frankenstein. For every original idea there were dozens of painful sequels. There were some truly terrifying films released during the decade but there wasn’t a lot we hadn’t seen before. Then along came Wes Craven’s now classic slasher pic a revisionist take on the genre that simultaneously dissected its tropes while embracing them. It was equally hilarious and horrific thanks to the auteur’s precise execution and Kevin Williamson’s sharp sardonic script that dynamically pooled the characters’ points of view with those of the audience. Scream’s self-awareness was a true game-changer that has carved a very nice place in film history for itself. Fifteen years and two sequels later the franchises’ principle players have all returned to Woodsboro to catch up on cinematic commentary and thwart the sadistic plans of yet another Ghostface killer in Scre4m.
In how many ways does this bloody new chapter differ from the others? Not many. The story begins when Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott now the best-selling author of a self-help book returns home on the last stop of her promotional tour. There she meets up with Dewey and Gale Weathers-Riley (David Arquette and Courtney Cox) her friends and mutual survivors of the Woodsboro Murders though there’s precious little time for a warm reunion because someone has inherited the mantle of Ghostface and begun taking out the town’s well-endowed teenagers. The trio along with a young and attractive cast of victims and suspects including Emma Roberts Hayden Panettiere Nico Tortorella and Rory Culkin attempt to stop the killer despite an escalating body count.
As with the original Williamson’s screenplay is the most valuable part of the production. He employs the same narrative formula he did in ’96 but puts it in contemporary context riffing on cinema’s current trends (namely sequelitis and the torture-porn craze the latter which the filmmakers are clearly not fans of) his own franchise (the opening self-deprecating sequence is absolutely riotous and perhaps the funniest in the entire series) and America’s social media obsession (Twitter Facebook and YouTube references take the place of pagers and other outdated cultural staples further separating the film from its predecessors) which plays a larger part in the story and its characters motivations than you really want to know. If there ever was a film for and about the been-there-done-that post-modern generation it’s Scre4m.
While Williamson is at the top of his game Craven’s direction doesn’t appear to have evolved much since helming the original (a sad fact considering his creative growth with Music From The Heart and Red Eye). A few eerie shots aside he doesn’t take any risks with the material resulting in a monotonous merry-go-round of murders that’s consciously grislier but noticeably less effective than those found in the earlier entries. Thankfully his enthusiastic cast is more than willing to go over-the-top and beyond to sell the (few) scares; Panettiere particularly stands out as the confident Kirby Reed as does Alison Brie as the slimy PR girl Rebecca Walters. They’re all archetypes fitting into the film’s modus operandi of amusingly adhering to conventions and making it relatively easy for you to predict who’s going to die without spoiling the fun.
Still with so many preconceived notions about what Scre4m should be it’s hard to imagine all moviegoers loving its throwback premise and downright silly tone. What was once clever is now contrived; what was once refreshing and exhilarating for horror buffs is now exploitative of their common knowledge and passion. As a horror-comedy hybrid it brings some funny but not a whole lot of fear; in other words it’s very much like the original. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
As well as the event's coveted Golden Bear, Asghar Farhadi's controversial film also picked up Silver Bears for Best Male and Female Actor/Actress.
German moviemaker Ulrich Koehler took the Best Director Silver Bear Sleeping Sickness, while Hungary's Bela Tarr landed the Jury Grand Prize for The Turin Horse.
Italian actress Isabella Rossellini presided over the Berlin competition jury, which included German actress Nina Hoss and costume designer Sandy Powell.
Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld, Jeremy Irons, Colin Firth, Helena Bonham-Carter and Ralph Fiennes were among the international stars who graced the 11-day festival in Berlin.
The full list of leading Berlinale winners is:
Golden Bear for Best Film
Nader and Simin, A Separation
Silver Bear, The Jury Grand Prix
The Turin Horse
Silver Bear, Best Director
Ulrich Kohler for Sleeping Sickness
Silver Bear, Best Actress
for ensemble in Nader & Simin, A Separation
Silver Bear, Best Actor
for ensemble in Nader & Simin, A Separation
Silver Bear, Outstanding Artistic Achievement
Wojciech Staron for The Prize
Barbara Enriquez for The Prize
Silver Bear, Best Script
Joshua Marston and Andamion Murataj for The Forgiveness Of Blood
Alfred Bauer Prize
If Not Us, Who?
The man behind acclaimed films like Downfall and The Baader Meinhof Complex passed away after suffering a heart attack on Monday (24Jan11) at the age of 61.
Many consider Eichinger to be Germany's most successful moviemaker, with other credits including The Name of the Rose, the Resident Evil films and The Fantastic Four.
Berlin Festival director Dieter Kosslick has paid tribute to Eichinger, calling him a "visionary producer and passionate cineaste".
And he reveals festival organisers will honour him at the upcoming event with a screening of his 1996 drama A Girl Called Rosemarie, one of the rare films he both produced and directed.
The film features a breakout performance by actress Nina Hoss, who is a member of this year's (11) international jury, headed by Isabella Rossellini. The annual festival runs from 10 to 20 February (11).
Eichinger is survived by his wife Katja and daughter Nina, a well-known German TV personality.
The Chinese New Year got off to a spectacular start in Berlin when director Wang Quan'an was awarded the film festival's top honor, the Golden Bear, for Tuya's Marriage.
The Chinese movie, which is set in Inner Mongolia, was announced on Saturday.
A thrilled Wang said, "A very beautiful dream has become reality for me here.
"Perhaps this is the last glance at the herds people of the region. Ultimately they are going to disappear into the cities. I think that it is important, particularly in this time when the economy is booming, to ponder and reflect on what we're losing."
U.S.-born Israeli Joseph Cedar took Best Director for his war drama Beaufort at the film festival, while Best Actor and Actress prizes went to Julio Chavez (The Other) and Nina Hoss (Yella), respectively.
Actor-turned-moviemaker Robert De Niro also had a share of the accolades--The Good Shepherd, his drama on the origins of the CIA, won for Outstanding Artistic Contribution.
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