Saturday, November 10
Donald L. Oat Theater
Suggested Donation: $7.00
Shame is the story of a man trying to lose himself in soulless sex. Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a 30-something man living comfortably in New York with a busy job and active social life. But when his uninhibited younger sister, Sissy (wonderfully acted by Carey Mulligan), turns up at his apartment unannounced, Brandon’s carefully managed lifestyle spirals out of control.
Although the movie’s hero is disconnected from the world, director, British painter and fine artist, Steve McQueen, (Hunger) keeps Brandon connected to the audience largely due to Fassbender’s startlingly fine performance.
The movie is rated NC-17 for explicit sex, and has won and was nominated for more awards that can be listed here. Click for award list. The film’s publicity explains the hero’s behavior as sexual addiction but it might better be said that he had a death wish as suggested in a comment from Sissy “we are not bad people, we just came from a bad place.”
Shame is at its best when Brandon silently flirts with a woman on the subway in a predatory manner; when he runs through the city’s empty streets; during his frenzied attempt to find transcendence in a sexual experience. In such moments the audience grasps Brandon’s spiritual emptiness. Shame is a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us.