On December 2, 2011...

by thelostboy
October 4, 2011 3:01 AM
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The two greatest performances of the year (of course only as far as I'm concerned) will be released in theaters. Fox Searchlight has announced that Steve McQueen's "Shame" will begin its limited release on December 2, 2011, the same day that Oscilloscope gives Lynne Ramsay's "We Need To Talk About Kevin" its Oscar qualifying run. These two films - both of which I saw at TIFF a few weeks ago - totally blew me away in large part due to their epic lead performances in Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton. Both are clearly being situated for Oscar nominations, but that's truly besides the point. Whether the Academy rewards them or not, these are inarguably two of the greatest actors working and they are both at the top of their game here. They share this incredible knack for choosing role after role that continues to show seemingly endless versatility. And there's also considerable parallels between the films themselves. Both take on serious, often overlooked topics in contemporary U.S. culture: teen violence and the idea that a bond between mother and child are not always inherent in "Kevin," and sex addiction and the hypersexuality of the internet era in "Shame." Oddly enough, these fine cinematic examinations of America today are almost entirely thanks to a bunch of folks from the U.K. Both films are U.K. productions, and Ramsay, McQueen, Fassbender and Swinton - two Scots, a Brit and an Irishman - make up their directors and stars. Hopefully December 2nd leaves enough room for both to find audiences, but either way the audiences that do find them are in for a treat...

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