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The film is discussed as a study of a New York sex addict – I am not sure whether this is not misleading. Brandon’s problem is not so much addiction to sex, but inability to behave like a functioning human being. Those two may be related, but in my reading this is a guy who fills his otherwise vacuous life  with mostly purchased sexual distraction in order to avoid depression. He would not be an addict anymore would he learn a way to normally communicate, express his desires and fears. Brandon would so much prefer to live in a self-controlled world, but he has to deal with colleagues and family, and his inability to judge when his support is necessary and how to provide it drags him further down.

As it is, he gets easily frustrated (e.g. when his Carey Mulligan sister abuses his goodwill by taking his boss to his apartment for a fling) and rather than discuss or explain, he explodes and runs. Sex is his valve, it is not the fire that makes his kettle boil. Michael Fassbender plays this Brandon as a deceptively charming-looking successful guy who can easily be shoved off-track, made extremely uncomfortable, squirming in his chair if the social situation is one he cannot deal with. His restless eyes give him a away, especially as his hunting mode for single subway women involves a treatment of unflinching and fearless eye contact. A very intensive look into some very dark corners of the modern city dwellers…

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/shame_2011/

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One Comment

  1. Still got to check this out, I have been hearing nothing but good things. I was foiled on my attempts to get this from Red Box, not sure if they have a no NC-17 policy. Nice review


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