I saw Shame in December, and had the pleasure of interviewing the screenwriter, Abi Morgan, who had a pretty great 2011—she also wrote The Iron Lady. I haven’t reviewed Shame yet here, wanted to let it percolate a bit, though it did feature in my Best of 2011 list, as a runner-up. I’ll post a link to the Abi Morgan interview when it’s up.
I read an interesting piece on the AV Club site about it by Glenn Kenny, which I think answers a lot of the criticism the film has received, especially referencing Anthony Lane’s New Yorker review that called the film “oddly disapproving.” I’m with Kenny. I think the filmmakers intended to show an addict’s binge, and while I can understand why some might feel there is some kind of implicit didactic intent in those scenes where Brandon”stoops” to go to a gay sex club, consider what Kenny says in his piece. He’s right, the film is powerful and non-judgmental, there’s not much here that’s very funny.
All this said, I chuckled last night at The Golden Globes when George Clooney, having won Best Actor in a Drama, congratulated Shame actor Michael Fassbender on his bravery with full-frontal nudity. And his penis, more or less.