Wednesday, October 17, 2012

PCP on DVD - Shame

Sometimes I want to see a film to see just what all of the fuss is about.  Shame is one of those movies. 

Shame - 2011, rated NC-17.  My rating:  9 out of 10.

Shame received a lot of controversy when it was released as an NC-17 film last year.  It is the story of a sex addict played by Michael Fassbender and his codependent sister played by Carey Mulligan.  It is a harsh look at what the reality is of sex addiction; it is not the fun thing that people imagine it to be but instead it actually sucks.  The film is stark and blunt, as well as graphic.  Definitely earns its NC-17 a few moments into the film when we see plenty of full frontal from Fassbender (which resulted in plenty of jokes at award ceremonies from the likes of George Clooney), and later in the film plenty of sex and drugs as well.

The performances from Fassbender and Mulligan are terrific and powerful.  Their performances are some of the best I've ever seen committed to film.  Fassbender's increasing slide from functionality is very well portrayed, and Mulligan's core sadness is deeply moving and heartbreaking.  The film was snubbed by the Oscars, but it raked in a number of other awards from various organizations that are well deserved.

All in all this is a powerful, haunting film that I am glad I watched.  However, it is not the type of film you can watch more than once.  It is a great example of what sex addiction is really like however, so from a psychology standpoint the film makes a powerful teaching example.  If you see this film, prepare for your night to be rather ruined though, as it is bleak and haunting and it is a bit of a buzzkill.  Films that deal with subject matter as dark as this though do tend to be a bit of a downer.  It's still a great film though, and as I said the acting is outstanding, some of the most fearless performances that I have ever seen.

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