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Shame (DQ)


Stars: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale

Director: Steve McQueen

Brandon (Fassbender) hardly has time for work, as his obsession with sex overwhelms him in a whirl of hard-core porn, casual pick-ups, call girls, three-way and gay sex and constant masturbation.

Brandon's wildly hedonistic lifestyle is disrupted by the arrival of his sister (Mulligan), a singer, self-harmer and obvious suicide risk; an incestuous past is hinted at.

There's a fine early sequence in which Brandon attempts eye-contact seduction with an attractive (married) woman (very well, wordlessly, played by Lucy Walters) on the tube, but this slow-moving film, full of walking-along shots, soon sheds our goodwill by getting down to basics and almost becoming a (soft-core) porn film in itself.

Fassbender and Mulligan shout and swear a lot in unenviable roles; the piano soundtrack is pretentious and annoying and the colour work is poor. Much nudity, of course, but completely unnecessary in Mulligan's case. What was she thinking?

David Quinlan

UK 2011. UK Distributor: Momentum . Colour by deluxe.
101 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 3, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 12 Jan 2012