shame is a slow and patient movie. it’s an unsexy movie about sex. it’s mostly a psychological film about physical connectedness. it features a bold, naked (literally and figuratively) performance by michael fassbender, but in the end, i just didn’t think it was that interesting.
i saw this movie a couple months ago in the theater but didn’t publish about it. i stopped doing that write-about-every-movie-i-see thing because i’ve been working a lot and i didn’t think anyone would care. but i saved a draft about this film which i just deleted and here i am posting about it anyway.
shame tells the story of brandon, who has a good job and a nice apartment. he’s a sex addict who is lucky to be attractive and seems to make good enough money to pay for sex when he wants, to sluff work when he wants and to go out and screw as he pleases.
then his sister comes to visit. no real insight is given into the past so we must intuit, but she and he seem to have boundary issues. they are both damaged. she’s a singer, of sorts. she’s a free spirit in ways, where he is more controlled. their relationship and they themselves are tested and i won’t spoil any of the sad results.
the sister is played carey mulligan. like fassbender, her performance is quite raw and daring. i just didn’t buy or care about the relationship, in the end. the performances and direction really can’t be faulted, though.
i think the main flaw here was the script, which is by the director. it takes a bare-bones approach to a taboo kind of subject and i both admired the attempt but was bored by it. i think i could have used a bit more insight at to the ‘why’ of things rather than just the ‘way’ of things.
the film is directed by steve mcqueen (no relation to the actor) who is very promising. his only other feature so far is hunger, about bobby sands’ hunger strike in an irish prison. it also stars michael fassbender and is a much more potent and interesting film than this. still, i can’t wait to see what mcqueen does next.