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Caryn James

Top Oscar Surprises: Gary Oldman and Demian Who?

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 24, 2012 10:41 AM
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The awards season zooms ahead now that the Oscar nominations have been announced. What didn’t we see coming? And what were those voters thinking? Never mind; a pointless question. Here’s a look at the biggest surprises and how they change the race.

Michael Fassbender in Overhyped "Shame"

  • By Caryn James
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  • November 30, 2011 9:30 AM
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Steve McQueen’s dark-and-richly-photographed, descent-into-hell Shame is, I suspect, exactly the film he wanted to make, and I respect and admire him for that. But it arrives with such hyperbolic praise, you might want to lower your expectations. The film is likely to leave viewers unsatisfied and empty,  and not in a way that reflects the emotionally-tortured, sex-addicted character Michael Fassbender plays so powerfully. Shame is not really that daring; nudity on screen isn’t exactly hard to find.  And while, scene-for-scene, it is effective and intense, The film doesn’t come close to being a fully realized drama. McQueen and Fassbender offer episodes from a character’s life, which is no replacement for the sense of character the film sets us up to expect. 

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