When we talk about addictions, we primarily think of drug use. Luckily, Shame kicks that notion where many of other filmmakers could have made something trashy and ingenuine.
I’m glad no one else was considered for Brandon because Michael Fassbender’s range is unparalleled. His facial expressions and body language pair perfectly with McQueen’s quiet direction. His scenes with Carey Mulligan, the couch scene in particular, highlight the depression and angst in addiction. We see that he is addicted, then watch his life waste away around him. Nothing has ever saddened me more than the final 20 minutes, to watch Brandon lose everything, then the horrific realization at the final shot.
I wish I had seen this sooner and I wish more films were this detailed and perfect.