[critical] Shame

Synopsis : The film addresses in a very frontal the issue of addiction, sexual, that of Brandon, a thirty year-old new yorker, living alone and working a lot. When his sister Sissy arrives unannounced in New York and moved into his apartment, Brandon will be increasingly difficult to conceal his real life…

Author’s Note


Release Date : December 7, 2011

Directed by Steve McQueen

Film Shame

WithMichael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale

Duration : 1h39min

Trailer :

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Shame deals with sex addiction ! This was my idea up to this message left by Sissy (Carey Mulligan) on the answering machine of her brother Brandon (Michael Fassbender) , “We’re not bad people. We just come from a bad place”. This sentence comes as the revelation of the weighing is not said in the rest of the family. We understand, then, why neither the one nor the other does the broodstock ; obviously they share a heavy traumatic past.

Has the image of the table opening, the first third of the movie has the center of gravity for his protagonist. As long as the addiction is not stale, it is lived peacefully. The scenes of naked draw a character in phase with his body and his impulses. The realization of Steve Mc Queen then reveals some nice subtleties. For example, the game of colors. Everything is pale, pastel in the world of this addict. The decoration is more minimalist and the grey is dominant. The objects of desire, the women, are the only ones to wear bright colors. The red will be used repeatedly to emphasize the forbidden desire that either the married woman or later the sister.

It is thanks to this last that the film actually engages. Although he dodged each of his blows son, Brandon fails to prevent it from landing in his life. The scene of their reunion is the beginning of the following. She filmed clearly the desire is latent, and ashamed of the brother for his sister. As the film darkens and becomes cloudy, it gains in power and interest. This desire reveals to the protagonist the reasons for his addiction. It cannot now look away. While it is more than ever ashamed of her sexuality (the between-self disappears, the it and the superego distance themselves and compete with each other), the non-said of the siblings are more noisy. Their reunion sign to the beginning of the decay of the one and the other.

The only real conversations fraternal are indirect, they go through a message on an answering machine, or the song New York New York construed the slow motion by Carey Mulligan. Their communication difficult and their inability to overcome the trauma of childhood lead to self-destruction (Sissy takes the path scarification, Brandon the addiction sexual).

The film succeeds with subtlety the bet to subtitle the non-said, to say the unsayable. If we believe that the subject is the sexuality of an addict then we can think of, as it reads and hears, that the film is puritan. The sex scenes do not show at any time the pleasure underlying the sex as a means of enjoyment. The sex here is shameful because it is a way to punish themselves. Shame film two adolescents traumatized as adults who are lost in the modernity new york, and bind their fate in self-destruction.

Finally, it should be emphasized that the interpretations disturbing, and for the less powerful of Carey Mulligan and Michael Fassbender. This last in particular, makes a gift of physical and emotional total.


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