It's been a week since I saw it, and I have to say that I'm very glad I did go to see Shame. Cracking acting. Really cracking, from both Fassbender, who's getting all the attention, but also from Carey Mulligan. They both actually "acted" and for the first time in a while I was watching people on the screen, not actors pretending. I hate when you watch a film and you're distracted by who's in it, rather than being taken along with the story or situation. There was none of that pretty tying up of loose ends; McQueen doesn't even try, and that's part of what impressed me - that and that there was no attempt for a bad ending either. Hollywood these days seems to try to establish credibility by replacing a trite happy ending with a "dark" ending ... which ends up being every bit as trite most of the time. In some ways it has a cathartic end, but, on the other hand, one does wonder if this isn't simply how the obviously damaged brother and sister carry on, that they're stuck on this merry-go-round.
It did keep going round in my head, however, that this might have been a much different film if Fassbender's character had been female. It might not have worked with a female protagonist as its reception would certainly have been much different. There likely would have been more than a few "Cor blimey's, she gets her tits out, cracks one off in the toilet every five minutes and goes around nobbing all the time, fnar", and the amount of cellulite on her thighs would have been red circled in every publication with crayons.
Shame is an observation. I can't say that I liked it, but it did stay with me. Made me think. Gads, I might actually have loved it, but I'm still not sure I liked it. Which is a result. A good film doesn't have to be liked. It just has to be watched.