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Shame (2011)

NC-17  |   |  Drama  |  13 January 2012 (UK)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 125,281 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 353 user | 462 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

In New York City, Brandon's carefully cultivated private life -- which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction -- is disrupted when his sister arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 53 wins & 78 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
Woman on Subway Train
Mari-Ange Ramirez ...
...
...
...
Steven
...
Samantha
...
Elizabeth
Rachel Farrar ...
Rachel
...
Loren
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Lauren Tyrrell ...
Hostess
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Cocktail Waitress
...
Skype Son (as Jake Siciliano)
...
Waiter
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Storyline

Brandon is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon's world spirals out of control. Shame examines the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us. Written by Momentum Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for some explicit sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 January 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Deseos culpables  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$349,519 (USA) (2 December 2011)

Gross:

$4,000,304 (USA) (20 April 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the 2012 Newsweek Magazine Oscar roundtable, Michael Fassbender said that he really urinated on camera during a scene in which his character was seen urinating (usually these sorts of bodily function scenes are simulated during the filming of a movie, if only because of the difficulty of replicating them over multiple takes). George Clooney, who was also participating in the roundtable, asked Fassbender how many takes he had to do of the urination, and Fassbender said three. See more »

Goofs

Brandon is shown getting off an R train (which he had gotten on at 28th Street) at Fulton Street. But the R train doesn't go to Fulton Street. See more »

Quotes

Brandon Sullivan: Are you with someone? Does he go down on you? I do... That's what I like to do... I like the way it feels. I like the way it's just me and it... I wanna taste you. I like to slip my tongue inside you... just as you come.
See more »

Crazy Credits

No opening credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes IV (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

I Want Your Love
Written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards
Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing & (c) 1978 Bernard's Other Music (BMI)
All rights on behalf of Bernard's Other Music
administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.
Performed by Chic
Licensed courtesy of Warner Music UK Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The grim life of a sex addict
2 December 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Steve McQueen made a real impact in the film world with his powerful debut Hunger. But like with musicians, there is always the risk that a director's second film will not live up to the high expectations the first effort sets. Yet McQueen has a good go with his dark exploration of human character in Shame.

Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a successful and well off man living in New York City. He is also a sex addict who constantly picks up women, hires prostitutes, views internet porn daily and masturbates at any given opportunity. It affects his day to day life and he lives a lonely existence. His life is made more complex when his singer sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan), a woman with obvious problems, crashes at his place. She interferes with his life, including sleeping with his boss, David (James Badge Dale) and sets Brandon off to tackle his addiction.

Brandon is depicted as a really despicable character, but he is a man struggling with an addiction. There is a number of sexual scenes throughout Shame, but there is no eroticism as Brandon explores more depraved and disgusting acts and his life spirals out of control. Shame plays as a drug addition movie, similar to Requiem for a Dream as someone struggles to give up something hazardous.

Fassbender offers a powerful performance as a dark, sinister man with strong interplay with Mulligan as he becomes threatening towards her. Compare him to Mulligan, a much more brittle character, on the edge for different reason. She gives a heartbreaking performance as a woman who does not know how to do deal with problems and has a sadness in her eyes. Their scenes were enhanced by McQueen's direction, using hand held cameras to follows Fassbender and the conversations stick to one point, making you feel like you are really watching them in a voyeuristic matter. This makes the movie more tense as the tone changes in an instant.

McQueen employs a grainy filter, giving Shame a dark, grim look which is perfectly fitting considering the atmosphere of the movie. The visuals have a similar feel and tone as other gritty and grim New York set films such as Taxi Driver, Midnight Cowboy and American Psycho, all of which follow the horrible underbelly of the city. He has shown that he is a great actors' director, but McQueen also had some great visuals, such as a long tracking shot of Brandon jogging and Brandon watching two people having sex in their apartment.

There are many moments in the movie that have little dialogue, relying on Fassbender superb abilities as an actor, particularly key in the beginning and during a long montage of Brandon wandering alone in New York, playing like a scene in the great novel Last Exit to Brooklyn. This is a movie about Brandon's continuing descent and self-sabotage and Fassbender should hopefully gain an Oscar nomination to back up his award buzz in Europe.

Shame continues McQueen's reputation as being one of the best emerging directors around, sticking to his no holds barred, brutal style which keeps a stage play quality to the presentation. Shame is tough, but worthy just for Fassbender's performance and keeps to a tradition of grim New York based film.

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