: Brandon (Michael Fassbender
) is suffering from a sex addiction, only able to bond with women via sex and never through love or affection.
is the second film from up and coming director Steve McQueen
, who happens to be Black and British. Normally, Black directors are regulated to stories only about Black people — especially dramatic films — but Steve McQueen has bucked that rule since Hunger
in 2008. With Shame
, the leading actors are Michael Fassbender, known for his role as the younger Magneto in X-Men: First Class
and Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan
. There is a small role from Nicole Beharie
, who made a name for herself as the lead in the phenomenal American Violet
, which starred Alfre Woodard
In the erotic thriller based in New York City, McQueen breathes life into sex addiction, which is often mocked due to the likes of Eric Benet
and Sandra Bullock's ex Jesse James
. Written by Abi Morgan
and Steve McQueen, the Fox Searchlight film proudly wears the NC-17 rating. McQueen refused to cut any of the graphic sex scenes and full frontal nude shots from Fassbender.
As sexually graphic as Shame
is, the movie is missing edge in the characters. The characters come across as pretty people with problems. Unlike legendary erotic thrillers like Adrian Lyne
's 9½ Weeks
and the Oscar nominated Fatal Attraction
, there wasn't a gore or creep-factor in the characters of Shame
that made them memorable. Even with strong performances from Fassbender and Mulligan, their characters' roles were exactly the same in the last frame as they were in the first frame.
is no failure. The film deserves the praise it has received for wonderful direction from Steve McQueen. He clearly made the film he wanted to make.
opens in select cities today.