The MPAA has given an NC-17 rating to the Steve McQueen-directed Shame, which is exactly what Deadline told you would happen back when we broke the story that Fox Searchlight had acquired it at the start of the 2011 Toronto Film Festival. The rating was dealt for “some explicit sexual content,” which basically means that Michael Fassbender goes Full Monty through much of the film. McQueen expected this rating, and the deal stipulated that the winning distributor would not be permitted to change a frame of a film that everybody knew would be NC-17. Fox Searchlight will wear that rating like a badge, despite the limitations that come with trying to market NC-17. Nobody feels this is a gimmick, and Shame is getting great critical response and gives Fassbender a real shot at an Oscar nomination. This might be the closest thing to Last Tango in Paris or Midnight Cowboy that we’ve seen in quite a long time.
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