Monday, April 09, 2012


Extraordinary second movie by Steve McQueen, after also extraordinary Hunger, that is a strong felted cinematic experience that will blow your eyes, your senses and impressively is a movie that shows lots of sex, but is NOT about sex at all. Is about a horrendous inferno.

Movie tells about a damaged sibling relationship where Brandon (Michael Fassbender) expresses no feeling towards everyone and when he tries to feel, he can’t perform sexually; where Sissy (Carey Mulligan), his sister, is auto-destructive. Both are attractive, good at what they do but also dry, empty, and living life in automatic drive. Viewers can speculate about how they got so damaged (childhood abuse?) but actually whatever you guess is irrelevant as what we see is the actual today inferno and the whys’ are not as impactful as the hows’. How both express their neurosis and dysfunction. Intense.

Story is common, often portrayed in movies but I can assure you that never like in McQueen’s film that with his outstandingly peculiar style plus tremendous performances by Fassbender and Mulligan puts screen on fire, the kind of fire that you just imagine habits in hell. Ah! film is slow paced, has excellent long shots, outstanding indoors and outdoors compositions, mostly deadpan performances that with small expressions tell all, everything that excellent non-commercial movie has to have … and yes, lots of sex, naked bodies, duos, trios, homosexuality, etc. just like many European movies have in their stories but that seems to appall and attract as borderline porn to those that live in the other side of the ocean. So, no, it is not for all adult audiences.

I believe to know why movie, McQueen, Fassbender and Mulligan didn’t got more accolades and had no awards at top awards like Oscar and BAFTA. See, what most people seem to see in film is the sex, that Brandon is a sex addict; most see the evident story as probably movie hits them so hard that do not dare to go deeper into what’s really story about. Obviously top world awards will not easily recognize great performances in what most consider soft-porn. I’m crazy about Fassbender and know that he will get his BAFTA, his Oscar as he is so darn good. Same goes to Mulligan. Still, during the 2011 award season movie collected 21 wins and 41 nominations, all extremely well-deserved, especially Fassbender wining La Copa Volpi at 2011 Biennale.

You cannot love this type of story as there is nothing to love in what is shown, but I do love the actors’ performances plus the amazing style in McQueen technique and as such I recommend film to those that do not mind nudity in their films, especially when is not gratuitous and is integral part of the nightmarish story.


Watch trailer @MOC

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