Shame

"Extraordinary"

Shame Review


This unflinching, thoughtful drama about sex addiction is made with such skill and honesty that it continually takes us aback. It also features two bold, raw performances that are among the best of this or any other year.

Brandon (Fassbender) is a successful New Yorker who's happier to see a series of random women than to settle down into a relationship. Although he doesn't stop there, indulging also in porn and prostitutes. So when his wayward sister Sissy (Mulligan) shows up needing a place to stay, it kind of puts a crimp in his style. Especially when she hooks up with his married boss (Dale). Soon he begins to doubt himself, feeling a surge of guilt and shame over his private demons. But getting rid of his urges is another matter.

Morgan and McQueen's script refuses to either sensationalise or skirt around the subject, instead diving straight into the characters to see the world through their eyes. Everywhere Brandon looks he sees a suggestion of sex, and he seems unable to stop flirting with the women he meets. When he tries to straighten up his act by going a chaste date with a work colleague (Beharie), he seems like a shy schoolboy way out of his depth.

Fassbender plays each scene just as full-on as the script, baring his soul (and everything else) for the camera as Brandon both indulges in his sexuality and fights against it. It's a thoroughly involving performances, and the fact that we can see Brandon's blind spots makes it even more wrenching. Opposite him, he's matched scene-for-scene by an equally transparent, darkly moving performance from Mulligan. This is easily her best screen work yet, which is saying a lot.

McQueen directs this with an unusual eye, catching scenes from angles we don't expect and playing with New York architecture and geography to set people with or against each other. Thankfully, while the camerawork and music are offbeat and unusual, they don't call attention to themselves, but instead soak us in the atmosphere and situations. Even if the plot stumbles a bit in a sequence that feels oddly moralistic, this still a bracingly inventive film that leaves us thinking.



Shame

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th January 2012

Box Office USA: $4.0M

Budget: $6.5M

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight

Production compaines: See-Saw Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 154 Rotten: 42

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Iain Canning,

Starring: as Sissy, as Brandon, as David, as Samantha, as Marianne, Alex Manette as Steven, Elizabeth Masucci as Elizabeth, as cocktail waitress

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.