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Shame

A 2011 movie directed by Steve McQueen.

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Ain't No Shame

  • Sep 17, 2011
Rating:
+4

 

SHAME

Written and Directed by Steve McQueen

Starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan

 

Brandon: Some people fuck up all the time.

 

Steve McQueen’s sophomore film, SHAME, begins with his returning star, Michael Fassbender, lying in bed, staring at the ceiling or into some far off space. He doesn’t move; he just lies there half covered by the blankets for some time. Something in his eyes suggests he can’t move just yet. He is trapped in those precious morning moments, where you become aware again of everything sleep managed to erase temporarily the night before. To get up, means having to face it all again and once you see what it is this particular man is trying to avoid, it becomes pretty obvious pretty quickly why he would rather stay in bed.

 

Fassbender, who owes a great deal of his notoriety to McQueen after the two worked together on  McQueen’s first feature, the brilliant HUNGER, plays Brandon, a New Yorker with a fancy job and an even fancier apartment. He presents perfectly in every fashion but he is hiding a secret, one so big that it could threaten everything he has in his life. Brandon is a sex addict. Some scoff at the whole idea that someone can actually be addicted to sex, as if it is some sort of made up excuse people use to get off the hook for indiscretions. The way McQueen writes the affliction though, it becomes painfully obvious that sex addiction is in fact very real and likely pretty rampant. I wouldn’t call it a disease but it is certainly a learned behaviour that triggers the same pleasure and comfort responses in the brain that any addiction would. Brandon needs sex in his life and he gets more than a little antsy when he doesn’t get his fix.

 

SHAME does not judge nor does it invite us to judge Brandon. That said, we are not asked to sympathize either. We are simply given the opportunity to observe a man in some of his weaker, more vulnerable moments. Brandon is able to manage his needs fairly well when he has routine in his life but when his sister (Carey Mulligan) comes to stay with him, he is no longer able to keep his habits in the closet. Subsequently, we are witness to them all, in all their naked and sordid glory - this is a movie about sex addiction, after all; you should expect a fair amount of sex. Fassbender is brilliant and fearless as Brandon. As he processes what he’s doing and how it is affecting those around him and his self, Fassbender carries this weight in his entire body. (And I do mean, his entire body.) With SHAME, McQueen and Fassbender prove they aren’t afraid of anything and that HUNGER wasn’t a fluke. The only real shame would be if no one saw this film.



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LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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June 10, 2012
I saw this as a rental three evenings ago and I was very impressed with it. Thanks for the sharing this! (surprised I didn't see your write up before but I make up for it now).
June 10, 2012
I'm surprised it took you this long to see this film. You should definitely check out my quick tip too as I interviewed both Fassbender and McQueen on this one. It was a Top 5 from 2011 choice for me.
June 10, 2012
the bluray never goes on sale and it is regularly priced at $ 29.99-34.99 (don't mind paying this much as long as I was absolutely sure I wanted the movie). Renting it took a lot of effort since Redbox usually don't have it and netflix took forever to get it to me. I will be right there! I was VERY impressed with this one.
June 10, 2012
Have you seen their previous collaboration, Hunger? Here's my interview with McQueen: http://blacksheepreviews.blogspot.ca/2012/04...iews-steve-mcqueen.html
 
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More Shame (2011 movie) reviews
review by . June 15, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Courageous, Truthful and Mesmerizing Portrayal of Sex Addiction
Addiction has its many shapes and forms. I’ve always believed that no one wants to be an addict to hurt himself or to ruin his life--I believe that one becomes an addict for the promise of becoming better. Stronger. Smarter. Suaver. Cooler. Richer. Braver. The promise is always fulfilling but that promise is always a lie. It is a lesson that a lot of people have learned or are learning, if you never had to learn this agonizing human lesson then you are fortunate.      So, …
review by . December 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Shame' 'Two Jews On Film' Are Addicted To 'Steve McQueen's' Raw Voyage Into Sexual Addiction
         A goodlooking man in his thirties sits on a New York City subway starring intensely at a married woman seated across from him.  It's obvious to the viewer that he's hitting on her and it's just as obvious, that's she's enjoying it.      The man is Brandon (Michael Fassbender) and he is a sex addict.  Thanks to Steve McQueen's brilliant direction, we get to be a voyeur into Brandon's …
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
Following up his intensely realistic drama “Hunger”, director Steve McQueen follows it up with a second collaboration with actor Michael Fassbender called “Shame”.      McQueen handles this film’s concept quite well and he seemed to have done his homework on his premise. Fassbender makes a very convincing, bold and daring portrayal of an office guy named Brandon, struggling with his sex addiction. Carey Mulligan is just as good lending him support …
review by . December 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is an addict. His drug is not heroin, cocaine, meth, or alcohol, but sex. Although he can function in social scenarios, he’s hindered by uncontrollable urges, and his only fix is to have an orgasm. He needs this many times a day just to get back up to normal. Several shots of his face throughout the film make it clear that the sensation has long since stopped giving him pleasure. One near the end, for example, …
Quick Tip by . December 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Anyone interested in a little more insight into this fantastic film should check out my interview with star, Michael Fassbender ...    http://blacksheepreviews.blogspot.com/2011/12/aint-no-shame.html    Thanks for reading!
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #24
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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