Shame

Shame ★★★★½

So this movie exemplifies the problems with expectations in movies. If you go to see Shame, you think it's the "sex addiction movie." So that expectation will permeate through your experience of watching the movie. Every scene will go through this filter in your head. I know, I'm just as guilty as everyone else. But if you can let go of this expectation and just go in with an open mind, and be ready to use empathy and not apathy I think you can get a lot out of the movie.

First off, it's extremely well done. Steve McQueen looks like he is on the precipice of being one of the best filmmakers of the generation. His ability to know exactly when to ramp up emotions, when to just observe, when to give the audience some motiffs and metaphorical images is really unbelievable. So if you are somewhat interested in the process of creating films you will get something out of Shame.

One aspect of the movie that I find amazing is the ambition and the risk taking of everyone involved. You have a concept that could easily be laughed at by everyone in the theatre. A rich, beautiful man with a great job has problems because he thinks about sex too much. That seems laughable to converge that premise with a film. But it works because of the care of the writers, director and actors. The camera is with Brandon throughout the movie. It never veers far from him. You have to find his humanity and then we start to learn about his problems, through his actions and his sister. So through the filmmaking the premise and character works out, and can be extremely emotional and also completely unemotional. A big part of that is the score which is really impressive. There are parts of this movie that gave me chills while the score was going. Especially the third act. The one problem I have with the movie is the third act where it veers into slight indie cliche but really up to that point I was engrossed.

With all the subtle cues from Fassbender and the camera it's hard to pick up on everything the first time. Nothing is truly explained, nothing is right or wrong, nothing is terrible and nothing is great. It's just life through a poetic prism. With that in mind Shame seems to be McQueen's masterpiece and also Fassbender's. And that's saying something because Hunger is a true masterpiece all in it's own.

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