I never thought much of the idea of sex addiction. Mostly, I considered it a weak cop-out for those who simply liked sex, but got caught in a scandal that left them with their pants down (pun … intended). After all, who doesn’t like sex, right? Well, black British film director Steve McQueen may have changed my mind with one viewing of his newest film, Shame. The film’s main character “Brandon,” played by Michael Fassbender, turned to sex the way that Robert Downey Jr.’s “Julien” loved crack in Less than Zero, Jared Leto’s “Harry” turned to heroin in Requiem for a Dream, and Nicolas Cage’s “Ben” couldn’t leave the bottle in Leaving Las Vegas. With minimal dialogue and clever use of music, McQueen told the story of a deep addiction that left its main character emotionally and psychologically crippled, set behind one of the most exciting, but lonely cities in the world: New York City.
I could go on about the film, but to avoid giving away the plot, I will stop here. But I will leave you with this: Steve McQueen is one to watch. I was incredibly impressed with his ability to tell this story in a simplistic but impactful way. It was also great to see him cast Nicole Beharie in the role that she played (I will remain vague for those who have not seen the film). She was amazing in 2009’s American Violet and I was happy to see her return to the screen.
Check out the trailer below, Shame is currently in theaters in the U.S. and U.K. Check your local listings for more information. It’s well worth the trip.