“Shame” is being released in less than a dozen cinemas today, so it will be tough to find it on a screen near you but you should. You really should. Michael Fassbender delivers a raw and astounding performance as a sex addict living in Manhattan whose troubled sister (played by Carey Mulligan) surfaces on his doorstep. Both Fassbender and Mulligan turn out the best work of their young careers, and director Steve McQueen frames the film with a haunting and blinding eye that will keep you glued until the last moments.
The film also offers an amazing soundtrack including some classic tracks from Chet Baker, John Coltrane and Glenn Gould as well as an eery and powerful score by Harry Escott. The moment that will stay with you, however, is both on screen and on the soundtrack: Carey Mulligan’s soft and melancholy rendition of the theme, “New York, New York.” Very rarely does one song encapsulate the essence of a whole film while also finding a way to exist independently. It’s a beautiful track, nestled into the folds of an astounding little film that I have no doubt everyone will be talking about this season.