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'Shame' - Joe's Take

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

2011 I 18 I 101 Minutes I Dir. Steve McQueen

A sex addict's carefully cultivated private life falls apart after his sister arrives for an indefinite stay.

Michael Fassbender puts in a career best performance here. An incredibly demanding role that requires a great deal of subtlety to show the sexual undertones in the way Brandon acts whilst still requiring him to gradually let the grasp Brandon has on his behaviour slip to the forefront as he uses his addiction to cope as his circumstances worsen.

Long takes are placed cleverly throughout, allowing us to spend time with the character and empathise with the difficulty he brings to social situations whilst providing us with time to study him from a far and understand that like a lot of people who are functioning addicts, it isn’t obvious until you scratch beneath the surface.

The creative choices reflect Brandon’s mental state with the use of washed out pastel blues against rich orange tones and a devastating musical score that passionately builds before being cut short by a plummeting melancholic note.

These choices are beautifully interwoven throughout to provide us with the consistent battle Brandon has between destruction and desire.

STARRING: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie

BEST QUOTE: “If you had the choice to live in the past or the future and you could be anything you wanted to be. What would you be?”

TRIVIA: The movie's Hungarian poster was banned as it showed the title written in semen.

IF YOU LIKED: Blue Valentine, Newness

Joe Gist

Creative Director

'Shame' Trailer

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