STEVEN McQUEEN POWER RANKINGS
- 12 Years a Slave
Despite the Oscars, I’m not sure he’s lived up to the full potential of the talent exhibited in Hunger. Makes me think the best is still to come for him.
His directing (and his actors) have trumped the scripts for every movie after Hunger. He’s got a real feel for visual cinema, with cinematography that’s clinical, almost antiseptic, but so affecting; the camera’s removed and observational, but also immersive. His aesthetic doesn’t reinvent the wheel or anything, but he’s not as obviously beholden to his influences as a lot of other directors. If anything, his work’s somewhat reminiscent of the hard-nosed, lower-budget character studies of the 1970s, as steeped in the grit (but not as overtly gritty) and grime of their specific locales.
A thought regarding his career-long collaborator: though Hunger’s considered Michael Fassbender’s big-screen breakthrough, his Movie Star magnetism mixed with full-bodied yet nuanced character creation was more on display the following year, in Fish Tank.
Also, in another life/era, he could’ve played James Bond; just think of his performance in Inglourious Basterds…