There are performances, rare though they may be, that come in and grab you by the short and curlies. There is no denying Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood, Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, and David Thewlis in Naked. In Steve McQueen’s Hunger, Michael Fassbender gives one of those performances that you have to genuflect in awe. It’s not because for the last section of the film he drops more weight than Christian Bale did for The Machinist. That’s a great commitment, for sure, and shows a dedicated performer. But it’s a scene in the middle of the film that plays out in three shots over twenty minutes that shows the man has the gift to command – he makes it impossible to take you eyes off of him. Playing the real-life Bobby Sands, in one scene Fassbender lays out his plan for a hunger strike, and how and why he can commit to doing it. And that hunger strike by members of the IRA is the center of a film about “the troubles” in this rather brilliant film. My review of The Criterion Collection’s Blu-ray of Hunger after the jump.