Five great Michael Fassbender films you may have missed
Michael Fassbender, who produces and stars in this months Assassin’s Creed, boasts an illustrious career so far - starring in a wide range of both indies and blockbusters.
The German native has made many risky choices since his debut in Stephen Spielberg’s Band of Brothers. But whilst these have paid off creatively, some of his films are criminally overlooked and underseen. Here are five hidden gems.
Fassbender stars as Bobby Sands, an IRA activist who went on hunger strike for sixty-six days before succumbing to malnutrition. Steve McQueen’s subtly brilliant film examines notions of oppression and resistance. Upon first look, McQueen’s film appears to be plain, yet this modesty is part of its success – he never allows the visuals to distract from the raw power of Sands’ story. The film was a modest success at the box office, taking £1.7 million but it deserves to be seen as widely as McQueen’s acclaimed 12 Years a Slave.
Fish Tank (2009)
Directed by Andrea Arnold (Red Road, American Honey), Fish Tank follows 15-year-old Mia (Katie Jarvis) through a turbulent relationship with her mother’s boyfriend Conor (Fassbender). A moving film, it showcases both the actors’ and director’s skills, in addition to Arnold and collaborator cinematographer Robbie Ryan's flair for colour. The film is considered Fassbender’s breakout, packing an emotional punch.
A Dangerous Method (2011)
David Cronenberg directs Fassbender as Dr Carl Jung in this psychologically complex film exploring Jung and Freud's differing views on psychoanalysis. A staid, old-fashioned period piece in many ways, A Dangerous Method succeeds as Cronenberg gives his performers space to explore their characters. This results in deliveries ranging from understated to intense.
Before Oscar heavyweight Room hit cinemas, director Lenny Abrahamson’s most successful film was Frank, featuring Fassbender as a musician who hides under a large fake head to conceal his identity. Frank explores artistic struggles and mental illness in a darkly humorous and undoubtedly effective way. The film’s script was written by Jon Ronson based on his real-life experiences with Frank Sidebottom, who similarly wore a giant, cartoonish head in public. This film will provoke thought and entertain in equal measures.
A commercial failure that deserves a second look, Macbeth deploys Assassin’s Creed trio; Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard and director Justin Kurzel in a stylised adaptation of the classic play. Whilst the film's late thematic changes fall flat, the film makes up for it with its engaging look. Most impressive is the music which thunders throughout, ratcheting up the tension.
Assassin's Creed is now showing at UK cinemas