Lawrence Serrano’s review published on Letterboxd:
The desire for human connection is something we all crave as we learn about our bodies, but for others they crave something that goes much deeper than a connection. Steve McQueen shows us the true nature of battling sex addiction and how it constantly tears your life apart.
The portrayal of addiction is cemented right from the beginning through visual storytelling on how our main character lives his day to day life, it’s a repetitive and impulsive feeling that Brandon struggles with everyday. Fassbender is incredibly open to how this character is portrayed, there are many scenes that require an actor who is comfortable to go all the way and not only does he accomplish that but he gives such a terrific performance. McQueen also delves into family drama and how even this type of person can’t accept love from his own blood, this is a person who is not wired to receive genuine love and care, he only knows pleasure and the picture that is painted here is one that is fearful. I admire that this film has no fear in showing explicit sex scenes because it makes Brandon’s struggle clear and understandable. The use of long takes not only compliments every performance but it allows the characters to develop a realistic bond that Brandon strongly desires but can’t quite accept for himself.
Shame is realistically portrayed and wonderfully acted by every cast member, I love when films like this are able to get me to understand something that I myself can not relate to.