Movie Review: SHAME

SHAME is an intense drama about the tortured life of a man who is addicted to sex.
It's not an easy movie to watch but it's very well made and it features an amazing performance by its 34 year old star, Michael Fassbender.

Fassbender is Brandon, a handsome, fit, but hopelessly self-destructive New Yorker who thinks of almost nothing but sex.

And SHAME shows how being addicted to sex is every bit as terrible as having an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Brandon doesn't have relationships; he hires prostitutes; he has brief encounters with women he meets in bars, and he uses pornography constantly.

So when his sister, Sissy, a night club singer played by Carey Mulligan, suddenly shows up, needing a place to stay, he's not pleased.

It turns out that in a different way, Sissy is as messed up emotionally as Brandon, but we are never shown how they became such unhappy people.
The highlight of the film is Brandon's attempt to start a relationship with a  co-worker, Mary Ann, played by Nicole Beharie. When she asks him how long his longest relationship lasted, he tells her four months. She can hardly believe him.

Essentially, real human connection is almost impossible for this troubled soul. His compulsive need for sex controls his every waking moment, and this artful movie shows the sordid details of the joyless life Brandon is trapped in.

Make no mistake. SHAME is not an erotic movie.  It will simply be too much of a downer for most audiences.  But some moviegoers will appreciate the undeniably great performance of the talented Michael Fassbender.