Director: Steve McQueen
Writer: Steve McQueen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan
IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 17, LEAVE THIS PAGE NOW. THIS MOVIE HAS NOTHING FOR YOU.
Brandon (Fassbender), a sex-addicted New Yorker with a successful technological job, has the darkness of his childhood revisit him when his sister (Mulligan) shows up for a few days.
Let me preface my remarks on this film by stating that in March 2010, Fassbender had domestic abuse charges brought against him by his girlfriend at the time for allegedly throwing her "in a drunken fury" in July of 2009 and the following November "dragged her alongside their car, hurting her ankle and bursting an ovarian cyst.” These charges were withdrawn the following month, but people need to be as aware of this as they are of Chris Brown's incident.
That said, Shame is a work of art. McQueen (despite refusing to change his name for the sake of the other guy) is a true talent whose work I'll be indulging in any chance I get. He shows a tremendous understanding of the locale for a foreign director, in addition to getting stellar performances from both leads. Fassbender has an incredibly complicated role that runs the emotional gamut, and he succeeds in spades. Mulligan is stellar as well, in a role that really allows her to let her hair down compared to what I've seen her in so far. Her rendition of "New York, New York" is breathtaking, and excels cinematically by only cutting away once. As far as I'm concerned, the NC-17 rating (albeit wholly deserved) prevented two remarkable actors from being recognized as they deserve to be. My problems with this film are minimal: there's no scene where Brandon gets help for his problem (which may be a result of the lack of DSM recognition for sex addiction) and the film has multiple ending scenes, any one of which would suffice. If you couldn't catch this theatrically, make sure you watch the full, uncut version on DVD. A