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Shame 2011

Amazon Instant Video

(162) IMDb 7.3/10
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Brandon is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon's world spirals out of control. From director Steve McQueen, Shame is a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us.

Carey Mulligan,Nicole Beharie
1 hour, 36 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Steve McQueen
Starring Carey Mulligan, Nicole Beharie
Supporting actors Michael Fassbender, James Badge Dale
Studio Momentum Pictures
BBFC rating Suitable for 18 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Boudu on 14 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD
* Contains possible spoilers

Well, I finally got round to seeing this film. It didn't get a release at my multiplex in the sticks and the local library didn't have the DVD despite saying it was in stock. Maybe the theme & story about a sex addict and his equally dysfunctional sister deemed this film 'too disturbing'. This is ironic because the film is far from titillating despite the subject matter.

I enjoyed the film. For a film about sex addiction, the truth, as said by many others, is that it isn't very arousing. Instead, the sex is cold, unemotional. Something has happened to Brandon & his sister, Sissy, it is briefly alluded to in a phone message when Sissy tells her brother, 'we aren't bad people, we just come from a bad place.' A brother & sister, the film began to remind me of 'Festen', what happens to the siblings there, & Henry James' 'Turn of the Screw.'

The film is about a man in constant motion, sex/on the subway/work/jogging, his constant preoccupation with sex (masturbation, pornography, random pick-ups in a bar & consorting with prostitutes) seems like an escape. From what? Himself? His past? Reality? The film is about Brandon's emotional repression and vulnerability as well as his relationship with his fragile unstable sister. Brandon is restless. Why? Perhaps because he is afraid to think, which might meaning confronting himself & some unrevealed deep psychological hurt. And so, instead, he exists in some private hell.

Matters are complicated by the arrival of his sister. Every time, Sissy tries to get close, even climbing into Brandon's bed, possibly to seek comfort & protection, he reacts with aggression and pushes her away.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jenny on 21 May 2014
Format: DVD
The acting and directing of this film is simply outstanding. McQueen is both brutal and frighteningly realistic in his representation of a repressed and corrupt side of the human psyche. I felt that the gradual and steady pace of the film, whilst creating suspense, added an even greater level of realism, which is very apt when portraying such a raw and graphic concept.
In terms of sexual content and nudity: the film is an 18, it is to be expected. Additionally, whilst the entirety of 'Shame' is structured around and based explicitly on sex, I felt that the core message of the film was nothing to do with sex at all. Sex is instead a tool to facilitate and express the harsh and sometimes painfully blunt realities of addiction and all that is bound up within it. Therefore, the scenes of sex, masturbation and pornography are not in the slightest romanticised, but honest, candid and as a result, uncomfortable to watch.
'Shame' is stripped bare to minimal dialogue and few main characters, ultimately allowing the exposure of a greatly thought provoking and emotive representation of the realities and consequences of addiction. A brilliant film.
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163 of 178 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Williams TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase

This is a wonderful, powerful film which made a great impression when shown at the Leeds Film Festival in late 2011.

Brandon, brilliantly played by Fassbinder, works in New York in an unspecified job, but he is clearly successful and on the top table. His relationships at work are defined by his position in the hierarchy: his boss is his mate, but it is pretty clear that Brandon is eager to please him and that they are certainly not close. He has a series of sexual relationships with women in the film which are driven purely by sexual gratification: he visits prostitutes, seems skilled at picking up women in social encounters for no-strings sex and is clearly heavily into porn sites, including webcams and chat. He is sexually predatory, but only in seeking consensual sex. His home laptop 'sleeps' in porn access mode, it seems, and his boss complains that Brandon's computer check reveals a hard drive swamped with extreme porn: responsibility is deflected onto a recent intern. His flat is clean, characterless and monochrome: there are no signs that any of his frequent encounters leave any trace in his domestic life and it seems little more than a space to live in.

Into this emotional desert arrives his sister, Cissy, a singer. Despite her need for somewhere to stay, he is so determined on keeping his life uncluttered by an fetters, emotional or otherwise, that his agreement is only reluctantly given and given with very bad grace. Cissy's presence in his life once more and the emotional neediness which comes with it is something he can barely tolerate, not because it is simply inconvenient but because it stirs up unspecified emotional trauma from the past. She self-harms, desperately needs warmth from someone, but Brandon is unwilling or unable to provide it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By hillbank68 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Nov. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a film that is raw, bleak and, as long as you are happy with the subject matter, compelling too. Brandon is a successful New York businessman working in a modern office and clearly well paid. Privately, he lives alone in a bijou apartment. His troubled sister, a nightclub singer, visits unexpectedly seeking temporary refuge from - what? possibly an unhappy love affair. This is unwelcome. Brandon's lifestyle is that of a sex addict, with frequent visits from prostitutes and a huge stash of girlie magazines and porn DVDs. Cissie is clearly vulnertable and damaged ; he appears not to be, but in a different way is just as unhappy - as he discovers in the course of the film. It's a very watchable but sad and rather sordid tale with no easy ending. The main players, Michael Fassbender (Brandon) and Corey Mulligan (Cissie) bare all literally and emotionally in the course of the film, which is well shot and convincing. I was held by it, but whether I enjoyed it is another matter - this film is not 'fun' ; but as a skilful expose of a doomed lifestyle, it works.
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