I feel compelled to clear up something just in case there is some confusion. The King of Cool the late actor Steve McQueen,did not return from the great beyond to direct a steamy NC-17 skin flick to spite Ali McGraw.


The Steve McQueen on record for the film "Shame" is a black British chap responsible for the film "Hunger" in 2008 which was well received for his debut feature. It is the same for "Shame", though the subject matter concerns sex addiction.


Starring McQueen's favorite actor Michael Fassbender is the lead character Brandon, we take a look at a charismatic man who, spends the majority of his time either having sex, jerking off or contemplating some sexual act. His state of being is beyond erotic to perverse as he'll do practically anything to get off.

Naturally he is deeply disturbed as he ventures to bars and anywhere else to pick up his latest conquest. And none of his sexual partners is anything more than a conquest though very brief.


When he doesn't feel up to the conquest of seduction, he turns to prostitutes to fulfill his need. And sex to him is a need, not an emotional uplift. He is a predator and whatever he can stick his cock into is his prey.


The prostitutes natually don't mind and neither do many of the women he picks up. A few, feel his intentions a flee like gazelles on the Savannah when they sense a lion. And Brandon is very much like the lion, even with his intense stare that he uses like Dracula.


Brandon's life is cold, lifeless, revolving around emotionless sex and very disturbing.

It changes when one day he comes home to his stark apartment and finds a woman taking a shower. He flings open the curtain and there stands his naked sister (played by Carey Mulligan). Sissy, as he calls he stands there buck naked seemingly comfortable with him looking at her nudity; which makes us think she is something other than a relative.


He lashes out at her for being there even after she explains she needs a place to stay for a few days. For a normal guy this would be reasonable, but for Brandon, he now has a witness to his perversity. And yet you can tell something is also amiss with Sissy.


They come from a scarred childhood, naturally, but we are left to wonder what it is. Was there a time of incest involved? You might think that considering her comfort level when her brother sees her naked. That comes to mind later when she has sex with his co-worker; but that escapade is merely a footnote to a deeper problem.


But McQueen wisely leaves that an unanswered question. Making us focus on Brandon's sexual addiction.


Michael Fassbender is magnificent as Brandon. You believe he has issues much as you believed he was starving in "Hunger". "Shame" is his movie and he gives a command performance that makes you quickly forget the NC-17 rating.


"Shame" is easily the best NC-17 film ever made and one of the best films of the year. It take sex and removes the mystique, intimacy and romance and makes it an act of necessity. It is unlike any other film involving human sexuality.   -- GEOFF BURTON