January 17, 2017

Oscars: “Shame” launches official Web site – AWARDS ALLEY


By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: An Oscar campaign I’m anxious to track this season is the one Fox Searchlight plans to mount on behalf of Steve McQueen’s “Shame.” Because the film is Oscar-worthy on virtually every level – from direction and composition to performance. Yet the frank treatment of a delicate subject matter (sex) could make some squeamish. Let’s just hope that doesn’t count against it in the ongoing race.

The studio reveals an interactive site this morning that introduces audiences to McQueen’s style. Harry Escott’s haunting score underlies the site, which allows you to explore information on Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, both mesmerizing playing a sex addict and his sister, who’s either in town to help him or to seek assistance for her own issues.

Searchlight shouldn’t have to work so hard to campaign for “Shame.” Screen it, and let the film’s powerful messages speak for themselves, right? Only, the Academy doesn’t have a long history of embracing tough, honest discussions of sexuality. The film’s NC-17 rating also creates obstacles that Searchlight will have to work around.

The film opens in limited release on Dec. 2, and will expand throughout the season. Without a legitimate frontrunner stomping through the Oscar race – taking out the competition – this seems like the year where awards love can be spread to multiple pictures. If there’s justice, “Shame” will be in the game.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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