Thursday, October 27, 2011
Shame earns NC-17; MPAA continues to surprise no one!
The last high profile release to wear the shameful badge of honor was Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, which opened in 2007, courtesy of Focus Features. The film kind of tanked (only about $4 million domestically) and earned mixed reviews, and merited no serious awards contention. That film incidentally won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival that year, where this year Fassbender won Best Actor honors for Shame-- facts are fun! Blue Valentine was famously threatened with the rating last year, a fact of pride and joy for it's champion, Harvey Weinstein-- of course he was able to reverse the rating-- the MPAA has always been slightly more lenient to female copulation than male genitalia. The validity and arguments and aftermaths of the rating are all fairly dismal, which bodes poorly on terms of Shame as a box office or awards magnet, but hopefully the rating itself, hopefully undisputed, will get all the curious-minded filmgoers together in thrall and desperate need of a grand piece of art. (Not I haven't seen Shame, so all this praise, sight unseen, may be much ado about nothing, but this is far and away the sole film of this fairly sad cinematic year that excites me.)
On the awards front, it looks grim at least historically. Only one film with the kiss of death rating has earned an Oscar nomination: Henry & June was nominated for Best Cinematography. Good luck Fassbender!