Friday, January 27, 2012

Phil sees SHAME at the Camera 3 Downtown San Jose-January 27, 2012

Very few films can leave a lasting impression after its final credits roll across the screen. This winter, there have been a select few films that have done this (reason being is that it's Oscar season so all the best, intelligent, and stunning film are released this time of season). But with director Steve McQueen's new film SHAME, I left the theater in a haze of amazement.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2011)
The film stars Michael Fassbender as Brandon Sullivan, a successful and well off man living in New York City. He seems to have it all, but he has a secret life in hiding. Brandon is a sex addict who constantly picks up women, hires prostitutes, views Internet porn daily and masturbates at any given opportunity (even at the office). His addiction affects his day to day life and as a result, he lives a lonely existence. However his life becomes even more complex when his younger and neurotic sibling Sissy (Carey Mulligan) crashes at his place. She interferes with his life, including sleeping with his boss, David (James Badge Dale) and suffers from her own personal demons, which sets Brandon off to tackle his addiction.

British filmmaker McQueen made a major impact on the film world with his his 2008 debut HUNGER (which is available on both Blu-Ray and DVD from the Criterion Collection), and with this film, he continues his examination of the dark side of human behavior. Most filmmakers suffer from what is often referred to as "Sophomore slump," which means that a director's second feature doesn't live up to the high expectations as their first film set. However in McQueen's case, SHAME lives up to his debut film, making it a nice bookend to HUNGER.

Fassbender (who also starred in HUNGER) gives another brilliant performance. It looks as though Fassbender has been playing some very sexy roles. He appeared in David Cronenburg's A DANGEROUS METHOD (read my review for that film here) and now in this film he bares it all. Literally! Ladies in the audience will most likely dreaming about his chiseled physique and sexual prowess. But one must remember that his character is an addict, whose addiction literally controls his life, preventing him to find love and monogamy.

I give Fox Searchlight Pictures major props for getting behind McQueen and his film, releasing it with the stigmatic NC-17 rating. While the film is very frank with its sexual content and dark adult themes, the distributors never altered the director's vision. This makes me very excited for it will allow those adult audience members who wish to see a more adult film rather than the fluffy and unrealistic Hollywood films can now be astounded and moved by this piece of cinematic work of art.

SHAME is a haunting, uncompromising and riveting art house film; a moving cinematic tour de force that shows us how harmful and devesating not just sex addiction is, but all forms of addiction. Once again McQueen has created another masterpiece! Five out of five stars!

SHAME is currently playing in limited theatrical release nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this sounds very interesting. Thanks for the review, hun. I can't wait to see it, although chances are it'll be from the comfort of my living room.