Shame – **1/2

Posted: April 6, 2013 in 2011, Drama, UK, USA, XX1/2

Sometimes you need to have reached a mature age or have experienced life a bit to enjoy certain movies. If I had seen this feature twenty years ago, I most likely would have hated it. It’s slow and the story isn’t compelling at all. A relatively successful businessman suffers from a sex addiction and can’t deal with his unsuccessful sister to be dependent on him all the time. If it weren’t for ‘sex addiction’ in the previous sentence, nobody would bother watching this. But critics loved this movie, it won several awards and George Clooney referred to Michael Fassbinder’s penis size during the Golden Globes. So, three reasons to persevere.

It’s easy to understand why critics love this movie. What the movie lacks in scriptwriting, it makes up with visual storytelling and with editing. There are several moments throughout the movie where I was pleasantly surprised to see that the movie makers decided to just let the camera roll and film the scene in correspondence with reality. I think it’s the first time ever that I see an elevator scene actually last as long as an elevator needs to get from one floor to another. The realism of the scenes are very believable and hence the awards and nominations are rightful. Sure this is arthouse pornography, but the the sex scene between Fassbinder and Nicole Beharie is one of the best I’ve ever seen. It looked very natural. All actors are great by the way, but the chemistry between those two was flawless. And yes, Michael Fassbinder has a large penis. You get to see it within five minutes of the movie in case that’s the only thing you want to see. But I remember seeing Jeremy Irons’ penis in Damage as well (20 years ago) and wondered what special effects they use to make it look so big.

More than a movie about a sex addict, it’s a movie about a troubled relationship between a brother and a sister. It’s all very superficial and you don’t actually get to know any of the characters, but the way it’s presented is mesmerizing.

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