Brandon (Michael Fassbender) has carefully built his life around his sex addiction. Everyhing revolves around sex for him. When he isn’t flirting, he’s watching porn. When he isn’t getting it for free, he pays for it. The only thing that he stays away from as far as he possibly can is intimacy. But that life completely falls apart when his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) suddenly shows up. She takes up residency on his sofa and bit by bit everything goes to hell.
Shame is depressing, calm, intense and beautiful. It’s a movie that hurts – and I loved it.
The movie doesn’t have much of a plot, but it has a story to tell through Brandon’s character and it has much to say, though it leaves almost everything up for debate.
Steve McQueen obviously has a style (long beautiful shots focused on the actors, harrowing stories that you nevertheless don’t want to end*/want to see again, very little dialogue) and boy, does he ever work that style. All movies should be this pitch perfect. And as in Hunger, he just nails the framing: that guy knows exactly where to put a camera. He definitely should continue his collaboration with Sean Bobbitt on that count.
And yet, just as in Hunger, you almost don’t notice how brilliant he makes his film look because the focus is completely on his characters, or better it’s almost entirely on Brandon and Michael Fassbender.
Speaking of Michael Fassbender: HOLY FUCKING SHIT, WHY DID THIS GUY NOT GET AN OSCAR (NOMINATION)? I was already astonished about this before I even saw the film and now that I did, I can’t even tell you how entirely flabbergasted I am by that decision. Carey Mulligan was equally wonderful and together they made for one hell of a fucked up brother-sister pairing.
Summarising: You should definitely see it.
*In the night after having seen the film I actually dreamed a continuation of the film. It sucked, but I obviously needed it.