You may have heard a bit about this, it achieved quite a bit of buzz among the Guardian-reading set due to its arty Turner prize heritage and hmm, edgy subject matter. But don’t be fooled by the jumper-wearing chinstrokery of Jonathan and Vivienne, it’s just another ill-lubed entry in the grubby line of serious dramas that just happen to have a disproportionate amount of nudey but troubled people doing naughty things, right “up” there with bollocks like Intimacy and the unbelievably ill-advised Nine Songs. Shame involves Michael Fassbender being an empty but successful wealthy business type who seems to be driven almost entirely by his large knob (one of the few things in this film’s favour is it strikes a blow again the mythical irish curse) and not much else. What was Michael Fassbender thinking when he read the script? Some kind of self-immolatory artistic atonement for taking the hollywood buck with Xmen – First Class (which was, incidentally surprisingly decent)?
Fassbender spends most of the movie getting his end away or awkwardly trying to nurture his equally damaged younger sister, who shows up and yes, gets her muff out. The performances in Shame has been described as “brave” which I always have a problem with. If they were shooting a guerilla mockumentary among actual Somali pirates perhaps..but getting nude and simulating sex in front of strangers? Brave? I did that yesterday in Sainsburys and I’m not looking for any medals. The main problem is being asked to sympathise with a wealthy good looking man who is having too much sex. Riiiight. Written and directed by Turner prize winner Steve McQueen, its just as empty and essentially vacant as its protagonist. Strip out the 5 minutes of dangling man-junk and well-maintained pubises and Shame is an admittedly audacious but ultimately tedious curiosity which asks and answers no questions at all.