“This time of year, I practically live at the indie theater. Kinda convenient that the new apt is a mere 20 minute walk away from the Kendall Square Cinema, which will play the bulk of this season’s Oscar bait films. Today’s was Shame, starring the incredible Michael Fassbender. Between films like Inglorious Basterds and X-Men First Class, Fassbender is rapidly climbing my list of fave actors. And now with flicks like Shame and A Dangerous Method (currently on my watch list, whenever it arrives in Boston) he’s earning major street cred as well. No way around it. He’s the reason why I went to see this movie. The boy’s already picked up a couple awards and is certain to be flashing that wide grin on a few red carpets over the next two or three months.

Shame is about a sex addict, whose already disarrayed world gets thrown into further disarray when his sister shows up. While I was drawn to the characters, something felt missing. Maybe it’s partly due to the fact that there’s another film about a sex addict that I absolutely adore (the film, not necessarily the addict), but regardless something still felt flat. There wasn’t much plot, but that was acceptable since it was a performance driven character piece. The times that things seemed to slow down actually carried a slight strange suspense since you could see the gears turning as our protagonist pondered a (likely) bad decision. However, I still can’t help feel there was a lack somewhere.

It might be that everything was very much in the present. You never really found out what drove him, if there was some catalyst for his behavior, how did he end up at rock bottom. Fassbender’s performance was fantastic. Even if you didnt know where it was coming from, you could still see the pain and struggle he was going through. And you also got the smooth seducer that made me swoon.

What I really liked about the movie was the relationship between Fassbender’s Brandon and his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan). After a series of miscasts, this was actually a fantastic role for Mulligan. Very much against her goody-goody type that she has a rep for since An Education (brilliant role for her, but I haven’t liked her in much else since). But the way the two played off each other made me wish I had a big brother. They were playful, crass, open, harsh, loving, angry, just so dynamic. That’s the part of the story that really hooked me in.

Certainly one to check out to get a jump on the awards season stuff. I haven’t quite yet made my picks for the best actor race, but Fassbender’s certainly a possibility.

Shame – \m/ \m/ \m/

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