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Bitch Slapped by Michael Fassbender

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I watched Jane Eyre starring Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester. It was such an atmospheric, sexy version of Charlotte Brontë’s novel with Fassbender playing Rochester as enigmatic and passionate. I’ve been crushin’ on him ever since, so I Netflixed two more Fassbender movies.

The first one was Hunger. Here’s the Netflix synopsis: …depicts the events surrounding a hunger strike staged by a group of IRA prisoners during their 1981 incarceration in Britain’s Prison Maze. Led by IRA volunteer-poet Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender). Not bad, right? Michael Fassbender plays a rebel poet …Mmmmmmm! All I can tell you is, if you know nothing about this issue, look up Bobby Sands on Wikipedia or you will not understand what the hell’s going on. In the beginning a prisoner enters his cell for the first time and the walls are covered in brown smears. “Surely, that’s not what I think,” I thought. It was. Everyone is really, really dirty. Including Bobby Sands until the screws beat him up, hack his hair off, and scrub him down. Then the hunger strike begins. Fassbender ate nothing but berries and a few nuts until he got down to starvation weight. It’s hard to believe there wasn’t also some CGI involved. If you want to ogle him, this isn’t the movie for you. But it was thought-provoking. So much so that I Googled and Wikipedia’d Bobby Sands. I read his prison diary. I read articles about the “blanket men” depicted in the film and about the issues the strikers tried to force England to address. I also YouTubed documentaries on the IRA. I don’t agree with the prisoners’ protests but I’m glad Hunger goosed me to get educated. My shallow ass.

Fish Tank was the next movie, a contemporary fiction set in the British projects. Fassbender plays Conner, the new boyfriend of Mia’s alcoholic mother (Kierston Wareing). Mia (Katie Jarvis) is 15, a rebellious and friendless girl whose only joy is hip hop dancing in the solitude of a vacant flat. She’s no match for Conner, who begins seducing her with kindness, encouragement, his innate sexiness, and increasingly inappropriate attention. Fish Tank is a beautifully shot film filled with light and stark spaces. Its story is devastating because it doesn’t use melodrama to distance you from its depiction of life. Each actor is so absorbed into his/her character that I actually felt like I was in Mia’s cramped apartment watching ordinary people work each other over. It felt so real and so sad. Michael, I’m sorry I thought you were just pretty! And Katie Jarvis’ Mia, with her skinny bod in a tight tee and baggy track suit, is so cool dancing her hip hop. I have never and will never be that cool.


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