A breathtaking study of sexual addiction, "Shame" features two daring performances, thoughtful direction, and a haunting score. Starring Michael Fassbender, the film revolves around Brandon, a New York businessman who seems to have it all together. When his emotionally needy sister (Carey Mulligan) shows up looking for a place to stay, the jarring shift to his routine reveals a damaging sexual addiction that he uses to cover up a lifetime of secrets.
That director Steve McQueen doesn’t delve into those secrets is actually part of the film’s power. As an audience member, we can speculate at the struggles Brandon and his sister went through as children, but it’s more interesting to observe their wildly different ways in which they deal with whatever that was. Never having been truly portrayed on film in a realistic way, "Shame" brings to light an addiction some might not understand, but many silently deal with. Regardless, this is a film that doesn’t titillate. It disturbs in its haunting sadness, in the character’s desperation to connect, and how the ways in which they go about doing that is killing them.
New York has never looked better with the crisp imagery of Blu-ray and the production design and carefully thought out cinematography are gorgeously presented. The 5.1 sound is amazing allowing Harry Escott’s score to resonate.
Special Features seem numerous, but they are only about 3-5 minutes long apiece, and - for the most part - are redundant. A discussion with authorities on the problem of sexual addiction might have been interesting or a more in-depth conversation with Fassbender about the sex addicts he talked to could have made for a fascinating featurette. Instead, we get sound bite psychology and (well-deserved) praise for the actors and director McQueen. They include:
It also includes the terrific Theatrical Trailer.
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack