Friday, December 16, 2011

Thoughts on "Shame" (2011)

I'm not entirely sold on Steve McQueen's "Shame", but this immaculately cold and detached portrait of a Manhattan sex addict is a real work of art. Every frame of this film appears calculated and carefully composed, as if every second was a still photograph hanging in a gallery, each contributing to a collective theme. 
I'm not sure that McQueen isn't exaggerating considerably at times here (especially in the opening and closing scenes), but overall, the film paints an emotionally convincing portrait, not only of sex addiction, but of any unspecified addictive behavior - the need to be alone, the feeling of being trapped, cutting off ties with loved ones, the inability to communicate, etc. 
Michael Fassbender, who can literally do no wrong at this point, is predictably sensational (as is his co-star Carey Mulligan), who along with McQueen, create moments of staggering clarity, which makes a few keys missteps all the more tougher to swallow. [B+]

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