Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Fassbender & Mulligan in Shame

Hollywood Reporter
Shame, the NC-17, sex-heavy film from director Steve McQueen stars Michael Fassbender as a New Yorker driven only by his addiction to emotionless sex. His unstable sister (Carey Mulligan) moves in and proceeds to disrupt his sequestered and unraveling world.

Fassbender gives an unnerving and agonizing performance, putting a disturbing face on sexual addiction, from his piercing stares at random conquests to the fa├žade he barely manages to maintain in his professional life. Mulligan was phenomenal as his sister, completely fragile and unhinged, and we get to see her vulnerability and brokenness in one of the most emotionally-charged scenes of the film - Mulligan’s haunting rendition of 'New York, New York'. Hinting but never fully acknowledging an unusual childhood relationship between the two, she says, “We’re not bad people, Brandon. We just come from a bad place”.

Shame was unapologetically explicit, hard, and definitely unsettling. But beautiful. Exquisitely beautiful.

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