Best movies: Hunger (2008), Shame (2011)

It’s only a matter of time until Steve McQueen scores a Best Director nomination from the prestigious, discerning Academy. Arguably, he should’ve received two already, for his phenomenal 2008 dramatic powerhouse Hunger and last year’s polarizing but nonetheless emotionally riveting Shame.

Partial to extended takes and a fearlessness to commit to a scene’s hardest, most challenging moments, the English artist-turned-filmmaker has, in only four years, established himself as a true auteur, one who also comes equipped with a reputable, A-list, go-to actor, Michael Fassbender, who starred in both Hunger (his breakthrough role, no less) and Shame.

Think of them as the modern-day Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. Recently, McQueen and Fassbender started work on their third collaboration, the jam-packed Twelve Years a Slave (based on real-life slave Solomon Northup's memoirs), which also stars Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, and emerging talents Benedict Cumberbatch, Scoot McNairy, and Adepero Oduye.

One gets the impression, from looking at such a formidable cast, that actors all throughout Hollywood are itching to work with McQueen. Who can blame them?