A trailer has not yet been released, but here are some new stills of Steve McQueen's Shame (courtesy of cinezapping.com) with Nicole Beharie, who plays Marianne, the love interest of sex-addict Brandon, played by Michael Fassbender. The film also stars Carey Mulligan in the role of Sissy, Brandon's mentally unstable sister that pays him a visit, further driving Brandon into his unhealthy sexual compulsions.
The film was received by a long ovation upon its screening at Venice Film Festival this morning, according to this Italian Yahoo site. Timeout.com gives the film 4/5 stars:
"After ‘Hunger’, McQueen has immersed himself in a wholly different world and made a film that is similarly distinctive and exploratory and grasps you from beginning to end. He has also succeeded in making a film about an extreme character that doesn’t feel so divorced from everyday sexual desire and behaviour. You imagine McQueen feels there’s a lot of many – or all – of us in Brandon, even if his troubles feel quite uniquely tragic in the moment."
Timeout.com also says this of Nicole Beharie's character:
"The other telling foil for Brandon is a work colleague, Marianne (Nicole Beharie, a warm, tender presence), with whom he goes out on a dinner date. Brandon soon explains his bafflement at marriage and any sort of coupling and their relationship stalls when they reach the bed. Before then, the pair share a strong, comic and easy scene in a restaurant as they negotiate dinner while an over-attentive waiter buzzes around them."
The Guardian.co.uk also gives the film 4/5 stars:
"Shame feels less formal, less rooted in the language of the art installation than McQueen's previous film, Hunger, and is all the more satisfying for that. This is fluid, rigorous, serious cinema; the best kind of adult movie."
Brandon is a man that struggles, he is a good man with a problem, even though he doesn’t think it is an issue. Steve McQueen is also an accomplished visual artist and that it is clear by watching Shame; he knows where to place the camera for the best result. Overall the film is a very good drama, with good acting and good storytelling, but sometimes it all becomes too much and we would want to watch somebody else’s life for a while, before going back to Brandon’s path through himself as he tries to change the direction in which his life is going.
The Playlist had some reservations about the script, but here's what they had to say about the film overall:
"The film is a powerful, beautifully acted sophomore film, and more than ever, we’ll be watching what McQueen does next like a hawk. [A-]"
Of Beharie's performance:
"..relative newcomer Nicole Beharie is a real find, painting a vivid, warm picture with only a few scenes, and should go on to bigger and better things from here on out."
There's already some Oscar buzz surrounding the performances of Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan.
Very exciting! I hope the film acquires distribution after making its rounds at the festivals this month. I have a good feeling it will, and perhaps even be released late this fall, hopefully.
Shame will also be featured this month at the Telluride, Toronto and New York Film Festivals. Tambay will attend the screening at the New York Film Festival in early October and will post his review after.