Bobby Sands (Fassbender again), the IRA and the hunger strike that eventually took the rebel's life. It was a grueling movie, and a gorgeous one. Sometimes a little too gorgeous: a shit-scrawled wall was probably never meant to look like a work of art. With Shame, this director seems less concerned with making every frame artful-to-the-max. But, whether due to the constraints of the "story" (such as it is), he has also neglected to make it much of anything else.
Carey Mulligan, below) arrives unexpectedly and asks to stay with him. I would call Sissy his "estranged" sister, except that Brandon appears to be estranged from everything and everyone, except the call of his needy prick.
Sissy's being around makes our guy increasingly uncomfortable. But then so does everything else: his boss, his co-workers, even the many hits with whom he has sex. That's it for the movie's plot (until heavy-duty melodrama sets in and we get an embarrassing mea culpa scene in the rain and mud), and there is even less characterization. This emptiness of character occurs despite performances from literally everyone that -- in another movie in which the director and his writer (The Iron Lady's Abi Morgan, with the help of Mr. McQueen) had endowed their cast with anything approaching complex characters -- would have had us at "hello."