To some he is probably a shoe in for a Supporting Actor nomination for his depiction of a vicious slave owner in Steve McQueen’s powerful new drama 12 Years A Slave, and rather than jumping on the campaign trail Michael Fassbender has announced he will not be a part of the Oscar circus this year. Though it seems like a mighty coincidence that after hitting the trail hard last year for The Master and failing to earn a nomination he is suddenly disinterested, he does appear to have valid reasons.
Far from being a sore loser, Fassbender claims he will be in New Zealand shooting his next movie, but admits he “does not want to put [himself] through that situation again”. To many this could be a suicidal move, one that causes irreparable damage to his Oscar hopes, but there have been exceptions over the years who have publicly snubbed awards season and still been nominated. Just look at Woody Allen.
But Allen is an exception to the rule and, like it or not, if you want people to vote for you and your movie you need to attend screenings, do interviews, talk to voters and tell people why you and your movie are better than everyone else and all of their movies. I completely agree that films should be judged by their own merit, but there’s a difference between ushering people into the theatre and tying them to the chair. The desperation-fuelled latter is often as devastating to a campaign as not campaigning at all.
The question remains: does Fassbender’s role speak for itself?
And how will this decision affect the Oscar race?
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