Michael Fassbender

I’m still working on compiling a list of my list of Favorite Films of 2009 but my favorite actor of the year is Michael Fassbender. I was originally impressed with his performance in director Steve McQueen’s deeply moving film Hunger (2008) and like many US film critics I didn’t have the opportunity to see Hunger until this year. Hunger has easily made it onto my list of Favorite Films of 2009 and it will probably end up on my list of Favorite Films of the Decade. Fassbender’s grueling and unforgettable role as Bobby Sands in Hunger is one of the films many high-points and remains the best performance from any actor that I’ve seen in 2009.

If Michael Fassbender’s role as Bobby Sands wasn’t enough to win me over, I recently watched Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009) where Fassbender plays a British film critic turned solider. Fassbender’s Lt. Archie Hicox was easily my favorite character or “basterd” in the film and like many of his fellow bastereds I don’t think he got enough screen time. But Fassbender is terrific in his brief role and he’s also a lot of fun to look at. He’s got charm, charisma and classic movie star good looks which seem to be in short supply these days. He’s also one hell of an actor. I suspect Michael Fassbender’s name will become much more widely known and even celebrated in the next decade. For now Michael Fassbender wins my vote for best actor of 2009 and I look forward to seeing him in more films.

Update 02-25-10: Finally saw Fish Tank and loved it! That makes three great films and three terrific performances from Michael Fassbender in 2009. Since posting this it seems that critical interest in Fassbender has grown so I suspect we’ll be seeing lots more of him in 2010.

15 thoughts on “Favorite Actor of 2009: Michael Fassbender

  1. I recognize him from his (smallish) role in Band of Brothers. Can’t wait to watch him in Inglourious Basterds, which I currently have out from the library. Now going to hunt down Hunger.

  2. Great choice and making Michael Fassbender your top actor of the year. I’ve been following his career for several years now and I think 2010 will be his real breakout year!

  3. I haven’t seen “Hunger,” but his delivery of the line in “Basterds” about a special place in hell being reserved for people who waste bad Scotch totally sold me on the guy. His “basterds” performance was a first rate combination of old-school stylization with a bit of methody-depth. Great stuff.

  4. Tobey – I haven’t seen band of Brothers but I also saw him in the film 300 which I didn’t care for but he’s really won me over with these two films.

    rktahn – Haven’t seen Fish Tank either but I’m looking forward to it.

    Simone – Thanks!

    Bob – The basement/tavern scene in Inglorious Basterds was my favorite scene in the film. Great stuff indeed!

    Chris – I’m usually able to compile that list in Feb so look for it then.

  5. Frako Loden and I have been conversing lately on just how much we like Fassbender. Hunger is a raw, heartbreaking performance; difficult. Lt. Archie Cox is by contrast charming, playing, albeit doomed. But it was his performance in Fish Tank that made my loins stir. Seeing his thin body and the curve of his lower back was enough to make me tremble with lust. Yes, I have my eye on him from hereon in.

  6. I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch “Hunger,” knowing what I know about the starvation campaign. But I’m sure you’re absolutely right about Fassbender. It would take so much commitment to play Bobby Sands.

  7. Maya – Fassbender is lust worthy! He’s a really attractive guy that reminds me of classic film stars like Robert Donat and Errol Flynn. Just dreamy!! I’m really looking forward to seeing Fish Tank when I get the chance.

    Marilyn – Hunger is a really hard film to watch. It’s rates as one of the most brutal and intense film watching experiences I’ve ever had and that’s coming from someone who has seen plenty of grueling movies over the years. I went into it knowing a lot about the history of the events the film is based around but that only added to the intensity of the experience for me. I do recommend giving it a look when you feel ready for it but it’s not going to be easy viewing. It’s a remarkable film though that manages to convey absolute brutally as well as incredible beauty in it’s 90 min. running time.

    Neil – Thanks so much, Neil! I appreciate the shout-out. I will try to respond in kind over the weekend when I should have more time to do some blogging. Thanks again!! 🙂

  8. Kimberly I think you site is above some of this but I sent you one of those recognition awards over at my other blog:


    it is some Zombie Chicken deal The guy who sent it to em I respect as a horror blogger and have longed admired your site. Sorry. Maybe I do not comment much here but you seem to get lots anyway. But the films you write about are the type I love!


  9. Fassbender was amazing in this.

    One scene that still sticks in my mind AND is so brilliantly executed is the 15 minute conversation between Sands and the Priest. I just love the way it’s shot, showing their silhouettes/profiles with cigarette smoke swirling around their heads with the thought provoking-dialogue. Perfection!

  10. You’re so right. He was wonderful in Inglourious Basterds. I went to Netflix immediately for Hunger but, sadly, it has been relegated to Save where it will probably gather dust along with so many others I am looking forward to seeing. Netflix is killing me! They have sent me to cracked Code Name: Wild Geese dvd’s in a row.

Comments are closed.