Movie Review-Shame

Plot-Brandon has a sex addiction. From internet porn, to one night stands. Brandon seems to never get enough of sex, or pleasuring himself. Well, all this is interrupted when his sister Sissy comes to stay with him. Oscar, are you listening?

Review-This is the feel bad film of the year. When you watch Michael Fassbender who plays Brandon, and Carey Mulligan who plays Sissy on the screen, it feels like you are watching a documentary. Very powerful perfomances and a very powerful script. The actors share quite a few scenes together, that are riveting, and very moving. You feel both of their pains, when Brandon is so fast to attack his sister for her faults, but seems to think he is normal. This film was like watching a Intervention segment. You are drawn into the lives of two characters, who both are screaming mentally for help, but physically too damaged to realize that they need it. You are witnessing this business man who is successful, and cannot control his addictions or better yet, demons. You watch 2 versions of Brandon. The one who is a successful business man, admired by his peers, and very well liked by his colleagues. And the one, who has to pleasure himself or have sex constantly. There is a very disturbing scene in the film, when Brandon’s boss calls him in the office. And then inside the office, tells Brandon that he thinks someone hacked his work computer because there is all this porn on it. You watch Brandon give a reaction, like a drug user who got pulled over by a cop and tries to play it off, that he is not on drugs. Neither brother nor sister, have any normal in their lives. You know as this film goes on, the disguises they wear to hide their true selves will disolve. What you see in the process is quite possibly some of the best acting in any film in the last 5 years. It feele like each of them tries to out do the other. And the end product is nothing short of perfection. Sissy has a one night stand with Brandon’s boss, and Brandon damns her for it. Then, we learn from the scars on her arm, that she has had a history of cutting and suicide. And Brandon feels no pity for her. It is like a doomed dysfunction.

When Brandon tries to connect with one of his co workers Marianne. It is one of those scenes, that you think will know how it will play off. Like, the dinner date they go on, and the conversation that Brandon tells her how little he thinks of commitment and marriage, that they are not the sacred bonds that most do. And Marianne shares with him, she is recently divorced and when she is talking and sharing with him, you can see how alone she is in her eyes, and you want to warn her. You just know she is so vulnerable, and he is like a shark that smells blood in the water. But, Steve McQueen probably thought that was the way, we would all view this hook up and threw us a curve ball, that was so cruel and really showed us how damaged people are. How this film did not win any oscars is beyond me. I think when people go into it for the NC17 aspect, and think it will be a porn film, they will be severely let down. This film is a character study that really shows us how people on the outside, may not be the same they are on the inside. That we are all damaged in some way, and that we are not alone in our problems and issues. There is a scene where Brandon goes for a jog, and that camera work showed us how serious Steve McQueen is about being taken serious as a director. This film is a must. Oscar worthy talent, and a script that jumps off the page. Rush out to experience this film. You will not be letdown.

9 out of 10