DVD review | Shame – Fassbender bares all in McQueen’s drama of sex, lies and emotional pain

A fearless, unblinking, full-frontal portrait of a sex addict from actor Michael Fassbender and director Steve McQueen (no relation), who first worked together on the acclaimed 2008 film Hunger about IRA prisoner Bobby Sands.

Fassbender plays 30-something New Yorker Brandon, an outwardly successful man whose existence as a corporate high-flier masks a compulsive addiction to sex. He appears to have the two sides of his life under control until his volatile younger sister, Carey Mulligan’s Sissy, re-enters his life and triggers his spiral into even more reckless and damaging behaviour.

Filmed with cold, steely control by McQueen, Shame is by no means easy to watch. But it is the naked emotions on display rather than the naked bodies that will make the viewer squirm most of all. Fassbender brilliantly conveys rage, fear and self-disgust, while Mulligan is no less revelatory, particularly in the scene in which she sings ‘New York, New York’, turning it from an anthem of triumph into a raw admission of sadness and vulnerability.

Released on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday 14th May by Momentum Pictures.


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