Style and performance make 'Shame' a must-see.
Release Date: December 2, 2011
MPAA Rating: R
In Shame, Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a New Yorker who shuns intimacy with women but feeds his desires with a compulsive addiction to sex. When his wayward younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment stirring memories of their shared painful past, Brandon’s insular life spirals out of control.
- Director(s): Steve McQueen
- Producer(s): Iaian Channing
- Screenwriter(s): Steve McQueen
- Cast: Michael Fassbender (Brandon), Carey Mulligan (Sissy), Amy Hargreaves (Hotel Lover), Hannah Ware (Samantha), James Badge Dale (David), Nicole Beharie (Marianne)
- Editor(s): Joe Walker
- Cinematographer: Sean Bobbitt
- Production Designer(s): Judy Becker
- Costume Designer: David C. Robinson
- Casting Director(s): Amy Kaufman
- Music Score: Harry Escott
- Country Of Origin: USA
Clear answers are never given, and Shame never really answers anything at all, or finds a semblance of closure. The film is a portrait of a man struggling with his demons, and the possibility he can overcome his deviance to lead a normal life. As for Sissy, she dreams of a relationship with Brandon, her neediness is deafening. But Sissy has her own problems, and placing her and Brandon together makes for often times cataclysmic encounters. The dysfunction between the two of them keeps interesting, amidst the lack of motivation.
Brandon does experience emotional highs and lows with his sexual addiction. The scene where he tries to have sex with a woman he took out on a date is more disgusting and disturbing than those where he hires a prostitute or performs masturbation. McQueen makes Brandon a monster, and watching a monster have his way with an unsuspecting respectable woman is more terrifying than one who ask’s for such behavior. As for Sissy, her heart-breaking song performance says everything one needs to know about her desperation to be loved, something she will never come to terms with nor should she in such a small snippet of filmic time.