MOVIE: Shame (2011)

Stunning.

Flawed.

And that’s about all I can really say about this film.  Anything else would be too much.  For me, I mean.  To say.  To think.  To feel.  To write.  To share.  It is hard and heart-breaking, and also in desperate need of tighter editing.  Fassbender is brilliant.  Mulligan is me at 19, possibly for similar (though not identical) reasons.  And I hope I never, ever see this movie again.

That’s all I’ve got.

Oh, except for this:  this film is rated NC-17 and we were carded THREE TIMES going in (ticket counter, ticket taker, bouncer at entrance to theater itself).  Why?  The sex is not explicit, and the full-frontal nudity is not gratuitous.  Grow up, MPAA.

[Prequeue at Netflix | View trailer]

Genre:  Agony
Cast:  Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Nicole Beharie, Hannah Ware

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8 Responses to “MOVIE: Shame (2011)”

  1. Angie Says:

    I worked at a movie theater and that was our policy for NC-17 movies as well. We also weren’t supposed to have any staff under 17 that might come into contact with the film – ticket sellers, ticket takers, projectionists, etc.

  2. RogerBW Says:

    I’m guessing… lady-bits are fine to be put up on billboards everywhere, gentlemen-bits will cause the end of civilisation as we know it, dogs & cats sleeping together, etc.

    • megwood Says:

      I think it’s because men are on the board of the MPAA making those decisions, and they’re terrified if women see movies like this, they might finally notice how utterly RIDICULOUS man-bits are (watch Fassbender walk around his room naked in this, bouncing bouncing bouncing, and try not to snigger, I DOUBLE-DOG DARE YOU) and all become lesbians. Get over it, MPAA. I promise that though we may laugh, we still want you. Well, some of you, anyway.

  3. Brian Toohey Says:

    I think the way they handled the sex and nudity was very smart– the gratuitousness if very front-loaded, so it puts you in the frame of mind of just how raw this world is. Once that’s done, and the audience is thinking with that part of their brain, the film rarely ever gets very gratuitous again simply because it doesn’t need to. I have to say that Shame was far less disturbing or tough to watch than I thought it would be. Your reaction, Meg, is about what I felt upon watching Requiem for a Dream many years ago. Shame on the other hand, was much more easy-going and user-friendly for me. Although I’m not claiming it was Sesame Street.

  4. megwood Says:

    See, I didn’t find the sex and nudity gratuitous at all. But I found the SHAME very difficult to watch. More hers than his, to be honest. All in all, a hard movie. And I totally know what you mean about Requiem — it’s in the same class as this one for me. Glad I saw it, hope I never ever see it again!

  5. briantoohey Says:

    Well, sex and nudity never bothers me in movies, anyway. But yes, obviously the shame is what was hard to watch. Still though, my point was that there wasn’t even really much nudity or sex. They front-loaded a couple of things, like Fassbender’s bouncing junk, in the first few minutes of the movie. Then you watch the rest of the film with your brain having kind of assumed “this is the raw, sexual universe we’re in now,” and they don’t have to show much more nudity for the rest of the film to achieve that goal– they’re already there. Combine that raw and naked sexuality with the constant sexual compulsion, and yeah it’s pretty sad. You want to give Michael Fassbender a big hug, except that you know if you did he’d just be rubbing one out on your leg during the embrace.

  6. briantoohey Says:

    Okay, obviously when I said there wasn’t “much nudity or sex,” I meant the kind that was graphically shown. At least until the threesome at the end. Obviously there is a lot of sex; the whole movie is compulsive sex act after compulsive sex act. It’s just not graphically shown after establishing the rawness in the beginning. It’s just interesting that the movie got an NC-17, and I was expecting a lot more sex as a result. But I think the reason behind it is the full frontal male nudity. You just can’t show the twigs and berries and still get your R.

  7. sopa and pipa Says:

    sopa and pipa…

    […]MOVIE: Shame (2011) «[…]…

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