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2011 FILM FAVOURITES: #10 – Shame

Oh my. So Shame, right. It’s kind of impossible to see it and not have some sort of strong opinion on it. For the record, Steve McQueen is one of my favorite contemporary directors because of his fearless approach to filmmaking. He’s not afraid to get dirty and he won’t allow you to get too comfortable. His follow-up to 2009’s flawless, oh-my-god-I’m-drooling-just-thinking-about-it-because-it’s-so-good Hunger is just as bleak if not way more. I am so proud of Fox Searchlight for not pushing McQueen to make any edits to the film in order to bring it down to an R-rating, because as graphic and excruciating the sex scenes are to sit through in a theater, it’s completely warranted. There is no way to understand how fucked up Brandon (Michael Fassbender’s character) truly is unless you have to live through it yourself. Yes, you’ll be begging for the camera to look away, but don’t count on it. This is a Steve McQueen picture, folks. The scene ends when the shame itself is too much to bear. The visceral effect it will have on you is something I’ve always come to appreciate with McQueen’s films.

By the way, Michael Fassbender? Yeah, Best Actor. Have it. Just take the Oscar. Take the Oscar and walk away. I have nothing more to say on the matter.

Also special recognition for Harry Escott’s unforgettable score.

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