Artist turned director Steve McQueen first collaborated with Michael Fassbender on ‘Hunger’ the harrowing story of Irish republican Bobby Sands leading the inmates of a Northern Irish prison in a hunger strike. It was brave, bold and despite the subject matter, beautiful and now reunited they tread similar ground with ‘Shame’. Here Fassbender plays Brandon a New York City resident with a crippling sex addiction and when his sister drops in for an unannounced visit it threatens his perverse routine to a point that will test them both and their relationship. Artfully shot in a style that McQueen seems to be developing it can at times be very intrusive, if you are easily offended by graphic sex then you should probably avoid this, its unflinching in it raw depiction and pulls no punches in stripping the actors bare both physically and mentally. The music is orchestral and sweeps up and down with the emotions of the viewer and as a whole package it is certainly a cinematic tour de force. Some people will no doubt be annoyed by the fact that the film asks more questions than it answers and being a snapshot of a time doesn’t delve into why these characters are damaged or even how it will can resolved. But as with ‘Hunger’ the film is beautiful and striking in so many ways and if McQueen continues this career path then the art worlds loss is most certainly cinemas gain.

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