• James Rutherford

'Shame': A Stunning and Mesmerizing Depiction of Sexual Addiction


Movie poster for the film Shame starring Michael Fassbender

“Shame” (2011) is a stunning and mesmerizing depiction of sexual addiction, featuring Michael Fassbender in one of the most remarkable acting displays of the past decade.

The storyline follows his protagonist, Brandon, through his day-to-day existence in New York City as a high-performing professional harboring an incessant, nearly furious demand for sexual gratification. Fassbender’s performance in the film is quite nearly matched by Carey Mulligan as his wayward sister, Sissy, whose intrusion into his lifestyle sets the central conflict of the story in motion.

The film approaches the matter of sexuality in many ways similar to Darren Aronofsky's presentment of extreme drug abuse in Requiem for a Dream, making it a viewing not to be shared with any sort of mixed company (note the NC-17 rating). But it’s a transfixing and strikingly provocative depiction of the human condition in all of its agony and lurid detail.

With "Shame", director and renowned British artist Steve McQueen furthered his ascension toward filmmaking royalty, following-up on his stunning 2008 debut Hunger and precluding his Academy Award winning triumph 12 Years A Slave.

 

View the trailer: