Sound Off: Steve McQueen's 'Shame' with Fassbender - Thoughts?
by Alex Billington
December 2, 2011
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Sex. NC-17. Fassbender. McQueen. You've heard the buzz, it's finally time to see it for yourself. Even with that NC-17 rating, Fox Searchlight is releasing Steve McQueen's Shame, one of the edgiest yet highly acclaimed films this year, in its uncut form. Michael Fassbender stars as Brandon, a sex-addicted man living in Manhattan whose life is thrown out of balance when his fragile sister, Carey Mulligan, suddenly shows up. Is it as good as everyone is saying? And how is Fassbender - Oscar worthy? Once you've seen it, leave a comment below with your own thoughts on Shame.
To start the discussion, I love this film, it's one of my favorites films of the year (here's my Telluride review), which was surprising because I didn't like McQueen's last effort, Hunger (that's for another day). I believe Fassbender gives one of the best performances of his life, completely embodying the character, and using every little nuance, movement, and glance, as a method of adding an even more immense depth to the character of "Brandon." At it's core, Shame is simply a brilliant, meticulous, contemplative character study that lets its performances speak for themselves. The opening with that moody score and the way it builds was tremendous (one of my favorite openings ever, to be honest) and from that point on it never lets down.
What did you think of McQueen's Shame? One of the best films this year or one of the worst? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!
Reader Feedback - 13 Comments
I agree. This film was amazing. Every frame, every line was so well thought out. That NC-17 is well placed but at the same time this is an adult movie for an adult audience. There is a shot in the middle of the film when he's on a date... I can't possibly describe how amazingly long and awkward this scene was. If Fassbender does not get a nomination, I will be extremely disappointed. Especially if Clooney takes it for Descendants (which in all honestly was a great film, but not his best performance).
Heddwyn on Dec 2, 2011
Shame is a character study, to say the least. The film itself deals with addictions; addictions to sex, addictions to want, addictions of power. From both the perspective of the audience and as a male viewer, McQueen's film deals with the provocative and ever-gorwing social issue of sexual independence in a urban setting. The situations are spot-on; the characters are immersive, and most of all the dialogue (the little that there was) was poignant and meticulously selected for a reason. There are no long-winded speeches or monologues or forced scenes, Shame is a fluid entry into the depths of a despairing man, who, may or may not know it by the final frames of the film. Shame was a joy to watch and completely perplexing cinematic experience of extremely adult proportions. By far one of the best of the year.
Lukes Nochez on Dec 2, 2011
It was alright. Fassbender is a good looking guy with a good looking penis.
confused on Dec 4, 2011
I saw it at NYFF and it haunted me for days after. Fassbender gives a great film performance in the classic sense of the term (Think Stewart or Cary Grant). It's a performance that draws you in through the eyes and envelopes you in the character's pain, but it relies heavy on Fassbender playing his own personality, rather than creating a character. I think too much of a big deal has been made out of the nudity in the film considering that Fassbender is only fully naked for less than a total of a minute of screen time. The amazing thing was that they were able to depict sex with a complete absence of pleasure. You feel disturbed and broken inside when you watch Brandon's grotesque facial expressions when he fucks. You feel the conflict within him. I hope he gets nominated atleast, and if they won't give the Oscar to Oldman, they surely have to give it to Fassbender, or there is no kind of credibility in the Academy.
VVS on Dec 4, 2011
Do you there is any possibility of having a chug to the film or is it not worth it?
Crapola on Dec 5, 2011
what? lol. What's a chug? If you're saying to masturbate, I dont think its the kind of film that would make you want to...nevermind the fact that you would be a weirdo wacking it in a theater.
VVS on Dec 6, 2011
the only sex that seemed to have an aspect of pleasure was with the coworker and of course Brandon had to stop because he was feeling something real.
Jack Armstr on Dec 11, 2011
I agree with Jack above. That scene with his co-worker was the most hopeful and at the same time painful scene. That could have become a satisfying, tender relationship but for Brandon's internal ghosts. I saw this at a film festival, and I have to echo that this is an adult movie for adults. No prudes, please. Those last two sex scenes separate the men & women from the boys & girls.
J-Pix on Dec 14, 2011
I hated this film. Good actors, some classical music and lots of sex. Seemed to me like the director should have gone the whole hog and made a porn film; or have less sex but something deeper to say. So he's a sex addict - we don't know a thing about how he became what he is or what he could do to break the cycle should he ever choose to. It's a portrait of a fucked up guy but is actually very shallow.
Bildfr on Dec 18, 2011
What I liked best about the film : the performances by Fassbender and Mulligan; the fact that there is no easy cookie-cutter explanation for the Brandon's brokenness. I saw it as Brandon acting out the same feelings or lack of them as Sissy was putting out for all to see. Sissy is a love addict which kind of mirrors Brandon's sex addiction. They are both desperately looking for distractions from the deep pain they feel, their inability to experience this pain, and the lack of true connection to other human beings. It's a sad, desperate, somewhat depressing film because, at the end, you can tell that Brandon will continue living his life exactly the same way, and Sissy will continue trying to kill and harm herself physically until one day she succeeds.
Effluvedelune on Dec 27, 2011
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I saw it. I felt it-the dysfunctional abyss of people experiencing PTSD, or something like it. People with deeply rooted mental issues. I thought it was profound and provocative. I think many people would be uncomfortable with seeing the effects of inner turmoil that must be present in addictive behavior of any kind. I like a film that makes me think which keeps me away from most of the Hollywood trash that rolls out from the film industry there. I think McQueen did a great job in portraying these pitiable characters. I cared what happened to them.
Tutor54 on Feb 15, 2012
A very disturbing film! Does any of you think Brandon and Sissy had had a sexual relationship in the past and that it was the cause of their pain?
Matilde on Jun 5, 2012
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