Shame ★★★

Many shots of Michael Fassbender looking in vague directions. This movie wants so bad to be artistic. Fantastic character moments situated in between two pretentious, unrelated plot-lines devoid of order or tension. The result is a tryhard mess with great acting and neat photography. It feels so tame, and then there are random moments of unearned catharsis. Being gratuitous is not really a bold or intelligent choice. Long takes aren't impressive if they're just there for show. The film also doesn't lend itself well to actually being ABOUT anything else but sex addiction. There's no clever metaphor here, though the film plays out with an arrogance that suggests over-your-head symbolism. If the film is just trying to show the excess of addiction, then whatever. But there's also a weird, underdeveloped "we live in a society" motif that turns it into somewhat of a pompous social satire that just made me think of how much I would rather be watching American Psycho. I felt nothing.

Also, why does every melodramatic character study feel the need to add a royalty-free-sounding violin score to give the impression of depth?

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