Film Review: SHAME

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in PFS, philadelphia film festival, review, Shame, Tags, Tinsel & Tine

By Le Anne Lindsay

Director Steve McQueen (Hunger), (why doesn’t he go by S. McQueen or use his middle name, Rodney or Stephen?) has created an intense character study of a sex addict without really having to go overboard on graphic content. There are a lot of very visual sex scenes, but it’s not gratuitous. With that being said, it was still embarrassing to watch the film with so many senior citizens. The audience was very mixed in age and race, but I just happened to be sitting with a group of grayed haired people to my left and right, making me grateful that movies take place in the dark.

I really don’t want to give too much away — it’s one of those films where you have to bring your own conclusion to what these two characters, Brandon (Michael Fassbender) and his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan), have been through in their past to bring them to this place in their lives.

I can also say that Shame is beautifully shot and has a sophisticated uptown New York City feel in the beginning and slowly dissolves into a more gritty, desolate New York towards the end. Very subtle, but effective. The scene depicted in the above picture, in which Brandon and Sissy have their backs to the camera while waiting for a subway, is such a great shot and a touching exchange without being the least bit schmaltzy. There’s another scene with them shot in profile against a backdrop of Looney Tune cartoons that’s incredibly intense and should earn an Oscar nomination for both of them.

To view the full Philadelphia Film Festival lineup, view our Online Program Guide!

Le Anne Lindsay is a PFS Blog contributor. To read more of her work, visit Tinsel & Tine.

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