New Yorker Brandon lives in a high-rise apartment and has a well- paying job. He is also a sex addict who hides his shame behind this facade of respectability. The unexpected arrival of his wayward sister threatens to unravel everything.
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I don't doubt that sex addiction is a thing, but there has to be a better way to deal with it than this overwrought, reactionary moan of a movie. The acting is very strong and it's great-looking, but in a kind of complacent, arthouse-by-the-numbers way. McQueen has no feel for New York, and the scene in the gay club is inexcusable (He's brought so low he gets a BJ...FROM A MAN! *a crowd of Victorians faint*).
I recall leaving the cinema feeling disappointed and dissatisfied by the lack of answers. But then I watched it again a few months latter and somehow it got so much better. You don't always have to have all the answers... a beginning, a middle and an end. You just have to have something to say, and this movie says it out loud. It's a polished and powerful statement on sex addiction. Even better the third time around!
While Shame is a competent, stylish and well-acted movie, I never found myself caring about anything that happened to anyone on screen. I'm sure this may have been the point but despite being an fleetingly interesting character study I felt like I was just following the intendedly shocking adventures of Michael Fassbender, his ample bush and floppy dong. I thought I was watching a modern-day Caligula after a while.
The only thing shameful here is that fifteen minutes of story took one hundred to tell. Of course people are under the impression they are supposed to like this film, but in fact it is unimpressive and pallid. The cinematography was fantastic, and some moments were gems. A horribly predictable and pretentious look at meaningless existence, tied to bourgeois addictions.
A beautiful drama with McQueen once again finding humanistic beauty in the hideous and depraved. Though the director's artistic flourishes are here in full force, it's the characters driving the story this time, and superbly-realized characters they are; Mulligan and Fassbender contrast each other amazingly. Reminded me a lot of all the gritty New York-set dramas of the seventies.
The film is daring and brave, but also vague and indistinct. The performances are wonderful, the story is told nicely, and there are some wonderful lengthy shots, but I might need a night to contemplate this film. Very dark and ambigious.
I feel really sorry for people who consider this film "plotless sex" or "porn". Seriously. Review your concepts and go learn how to watch movies. Or just don't bring your mother to the theater anymore.
In his first feature, McQueen's observancy took us to the very soul of Bobby Sands hinging primordially on Fassbender's performance. This time around he can't seem to get past Brandon's exterior, his visual talent is there as well as Fassbender's all-out commitment to his character, but they don't seem to connect, the script is way too shallow and it falters on the art-house trappings of character development.