Shame review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso
From the maker of 2008’s painfully emphatic Hunger comes the story of Brandon (Michael Fassbender) a sex addict whose sordid daily routine is interrupted by the arrival of his needy and troubled sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan).
Though the narrative for Shame is what attracted much of the press attention it is by far the secondary feature to this movie, overshadowed entirely by the characters and actor’s performances.
Fassbender’s performance is faultless, he completely engulfs the screen in a way that only serves to reflect the way in which his debauched sexual addiction has overtaken him; as a character he is unpleasant and unnerving, yet there are moments in which you see a genuine desire for a connection that goes beyond the physical, his seemingly pleasant dinner date with a work colleague (Nicole Baharie) is touched with an almost tragic but unmistakably contemporary innocence that, when compared to his other relationships, is quite poignant.
Mulligan is also an absolute star, giving what many are calling her best performance since the Oscar Nominated An Education – her depiction of Sissy, the selfish and emotionally indulgent sister is edged with an almost indefinable vulnerability that has a marked effect on her brother.
There is not a single moment in this movie that is easy to watch however, this is really challenging stuff that is likely to make many an audience member too uncomfortable to complete their viewing; the rewards for those who do however are honestly quite immense.