James Badge Dale
Anna Rose Hopkins
Finally a film could knock down HUGO (2011) and a leading male performance could overcome THE ARTIST’s Jean Dujardin from the crowns of my favorite film and leading actor in 2011, SHAME, the second feature film from a perfect-pitched alliance of McQueen-Fassbender (after the daring and jaw-dropping HUNGER 2008) is an intensive exploration of human’s raw sexual desire and its dysfunctional repercussions.
Fassbender is Brandon, a white-collar in NYC, who has been a victim of his insatiable sexual lust while also being a sterling case of intimacy-impotence, and things complicate when his feeble and mentally-jaded sister (Carey Mulligan) arrive uninvited.
The film embraces a snappy narrative and visual stunt to laboriously account the tribulation of Brandon’s eccentricities, a thorough exposure and exposition of the peculiar life of a sex addict satisfies one’s curiosity and magnificently intrigues some ripple effects to coerce oneself to self-introspection, furthermore, it impacts an in-depth afterthought which doubts one’s liability of the most primitive sex drive and the vast void after.
This gritty film finds its mesmerizing deliveries both from the director team and actors. The script from McQueen and Abi Morgan is concise and incisive, brilliant cinematography from Sean Bobbitt captures even the subtlest turbulence underneath every single gesticulation, stunning long-takes could never spoil the attention, let alone the exotically gripping threesome scenes under the xenon-scrutiny. Harry Escott’s fluent score has a juxtaposedly infused function to accompany the graphic visual voyage.
Mr. Fassbender’s destructive performance is straightforwardly eye-popping, a quasi-AV-esque bareness reveals what the word “actor” stands for in all respects and in a most paramount grade. Carey Mulligan’s superb rendition of NEW YORK, NEW YORK is so far her career-best and her devastated reading of a troubled soul gives her a shot in my BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS list.
The snub from the academic awards is not totally unexpected, the film is not an easy piece for anyone to swallow and assimilate, but a complete zero-nomination does blow the whistle on the cowardice of the clique, luckily the pair will soar along for the third time in TWLEVE YEARS A SLAVE (due in 2013), so at least the future is auspicious!