DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
This isn't a film about sex addiction. It's a film about a man torn in half by himself. The addiction is a mere vehicle for an exploration of control, humanity and self destruction.
Fassbender is amazing and easily gives one of the best performances I have seen in a couple of years. He is reprehensible, charming and unbelievably sad. His character, a man desperately running away from himself yet totally dependent on himself, is intriguing. What McQueen is able to do like no other director is to allow us to enter the mind of his characters. He is an observer and that is how he shoots his films, with long contemplative takes, forcing us to really soak up what is on screen.
Mulligan is amazing. Not only is her character really well written, but the strength with which she portrays this broken girl is commendable and very moving.
Shame manages to find real drama in an obscure corner. And while it perhaps dramatises the sex addiction a bit too much, it just does not detract anything from the power and rawness of the inner conflict Shame's protagonist faces.
McQueen is a director who creates his own set of rules by which he chooses to tell a story. He is well entitled to do so as he is bloody good at it.