7.2/10
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447 user 501 critic

Shame (2011)

NC-17 | | Drama | 13 January 2012 (UK)
Trailer
1:34 | Trailer
A sex addict's carefully cultivated private life falls apart after his sister arrives for an indefinite stay.

Director:

Steve McQueen
Reviews
Popularity
819 ( 103)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 51 wins & 92 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Fassbender ... Brandon
Lucy Walters ... Woman on Subway Train
Mari-Ange Ramirez Mari-Ange Ramirez ... Alexa
James Badge Dale ... David
Nicole Beharie ... Marianne
Alex Manette ... Steven
Hannah Ware ... Samantha
Elizabeth Masucci ... Elizabeth
Rachel Farrar ... Rachel
Loren Omer Loren Omer ... Loren
Carey Mulligan ... Sissy
Lauren Tyrrell Lauren Tyrrell ... Hostess
Marta Milans ... Cocktail Waitress
Jake Siciliano ... Skype Son
Robert Montano ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second feature length collaboration between actor Michael Fassbender and director Steve McQueen, the first being Hunger (2008). See more »

Goofs

The healing progress of Brandon's bruise on the cheek is completely random. Sometimes it's almost open and bloody, sometimes it's almost closed. At most only a few days pass between him receiving it and the last scene. See more »

Quotes

David: Listen, one more thing. Your hard drive is filthy, all right. We got your computer back. I mean, it is, it is, dirty. I'm talking like hoes, sluts, anal, double anal, penetration, inter racial facial, man. Cream pie. I don't even know what that is. Do you think it was your intern?
Brandon Sullivan: On my hard drive?
David: Yeah, someone's fucking with your account, man. And we're blowing our wad in cash, you know? It takes a really really sick fuck to spend all day on that shit.
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Crazy Credits

No opening credits apart from the movie's title. See more »

Connections

References Gimme Shelter (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Bounce
Written by Calvin Harris
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd
Performed by Calvin Harris feat. Kelis
Licensed courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd
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User Reviews

 
It's not about sex, it's about shame
28 March 2012 | by Edd-N-FurterSee all my reviews

Brandon's life is almost perfect: a steady job, a nice apartment, good friends and women adore him. But something prevents Brandon from having a relationship that lasts more than four months, this incapacity is due to the fact that Brandon is a sex addict: to casual encounters with strangers and prostitutes, to pornography (both during and after working hours), to masturbation. And to some extent he seems to have his addiction under control, until her sister Sissy arrives unexpectedly looking for a place to live for a while.

British director Steve McQueen delivers a fascinating character study that explores how modern life (in which new technologies play a major role), increasingly isolates people and makes them unable to establish emotional bonds with others. In Brandon's case, a hunter in search of pleasure and not love, the arrival of his sister will turn him into a prey of his own emotions and will make him face his reality.

One aspect that has caused controversy is the way so raw and explicit to show Brandon's sexual encounters, however this becomes a necessary element, since it is through them that you can see Brandon's need and desperation as Sissy is more involved in his life. Special mention deserves the dynamics established between them, since it is fully nuanced and can even be uncomfortable to witness but is devastatingly emotional (especially in the last minutes of the story).

However, the most important element for the success of the film lies in the performances: in the hands of less committed actors Brandon and Sissy's conflicts would be unconvincing, but McQueen wisely chooses Michael Fassbender (both had previously worked together on Hunger), who literally bares body and soul to take Brandon's emotions to the limit and does it so impressively in a brave and courageous performance (and unfortunately the Academy possibly considered too intense for consideration in their nominations). Meanwhile Carey Mulligan proves to be one of the young actresses with the best prospects and acting range nowadays: her rendition of the classic song New York, New York is an utter delight as well is one of the best scenes in the film.

Shame, in the end (as in most character studies) does not seek to create empathy for the characters, but rather wants us to reflect and ask ourselves how we would react in similar situations.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

UK | Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Shame See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$361,000, 4 December 2011

Gross USA:

$3,909,002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$19,123,767
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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