Shame (2011)




Steve McQueen




Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie, Lucy Walters, Alex Manette, Hannah Ware, Elizabeth Masucci, Rachel Farrar, Loren Omer


Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a New Yorker who shuns intimacy with women but feeds his desires with a compulsive addiction to sex. When his wayward younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment stirring memories of their shared painful past, Brandon's insular life spirals out of control.


After striking indelibly with his first masterpiece, Hunger, Steve McQueen rejoins with Michael Fassbender for Shamebrilliant, marvelous, moving, and provocative film about addictions.

This film is deemed controversial because of its many sex scenes considered vulgar and excessive – apparently they are more shocking than violence the audience is used to see on a daily basis -, but because of the very simple plot those scenes are necessary to tell the story, especially in such a realistic way.

The imprisonment of Bobby Sand, stripped of everything, is contrasted with the freedom of Brandon, who can have everything at once, but that is locked up in a mental prison, constituted by his sexual addiction. Brandon is ashamed of it, of his inability to feel something or really be himself with someone, and seems like he does not enjoy the sex, but it's using it to punish himself for something. And that something might be related to his sister, considering their troubled relationship, and the allusion to a dark secret between them, enhanced by Sissy's last line. 

Steve McQueen has done a wonderful job both directing and writing this film. He decided to concentrate on the thoughts, and emotions of the characters, and that’s what keeps you involved, and gives you the chance to feel and like the characters.

The actors, mostly Fassbender and Mulligan, really have the chance to shine here, expressing sadness, fear, anger, and loneliness just with their faces. Michael Fassbender gives a wonderful performance as Brandon, and makes many of the scenes devastatingly real. Carey Mulligan gives a fantastic, heartbreaking performance as Brandon’s disturbed sister.

It’s a real shame this film didn’t receive much love from the Academy. 


Sissy Sullivan: We’re not bad people. We just come from a bad place.


  1. I love this movie. You're so right about the relevance of the sex scenes. Also right about the.performances. Fassbender is marvelous. I'm not really a fan of Mulligan, but she is just as good as Fassbender, here.

  2. I think to think the Academy was too way intimidated by Fassbender's massive package to nominate him. lol

    This movie is so good though, everything about it is wonderful.