Michael Fassbender… Brandon
Carey Mulligan… Sissy
Director: Steve McQueen
Synopsis : In New York, Brandon’s carefully cultivated private life – which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction – is disrupted when his sister arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.
The Backlot Rating:
Hotness – 5
Romance – 0
WTFactor – 4
Shame is an intense drama which revolves around the life of Brandon Sullivan. From the outside, Brandon appears to be the most put together person… he’s handsome, charming, great at his job, and lives in a beautiful apartment. However, Brandon struggles daily with an issue that no one is even slightly aware of – he is a hardcore sex addict, and besides taking a toll on him physically, his addiction is damaging his relationships and emotional attachments to other people.
I remember that there was quite a bit of uproar after Shame came out. Sure, the subject matter was sensitive and even slightly taboo, but that wasn’t the issue. Evidently, most people thought that Michael Fassbender would have been a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination for his role as Brandon, and despite his active and diligent campaigning, his was not one of the names on the list of Oscar nominees that year.
I accept that this movie has a gay scene featured on this list, but it isn’t actually a gay movie. In all honesty, I don’t even think that Brandon was a bisexual per se. His addiction to sex was just so all-consuming that it seemed not to matter where he received the sexual gratification… just as long as an orgasm was achieved. I think this is why this scene stood out so much; despite arguably being a heterosexual man, Brandon was so intent on getting his sexual fix at that moment that he resorted to following a gay man into a gay club, never once frightened off by the intense volume of gay sex happening around him.
I liked this movie… gay sex scene or not. It wasn’t a very exciting film, so if you’re looking for an adventurous plot, this will not be the movie for you. It is actually incredibly slow-paced, evident from the very first scene in which Fassbender is seen lying motionlessly on his bed for a solid ten minutes (exaggeration… but it certainly felt like it). The acting was also remarkable and, while it didn’t necessarily surprise me that Fassbender was “snubbed”, I can certainly understand why other people would have felt the shock.