Brandon is a successful New Yorker, who has a good job, owns a posh apartment, and is viable to women. He is also a sex addict whose compulsory habits dominate every aspect of his life and prevent him from sharing intimate relationships. When his sister, an outgoing and unstable counter, comes to stay with him, Brandon's life begins to spiral out of control as his addiction become more drastically manifested and his sister's cries for help go unanswered. "Shame" reunites director Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender from their whirlwind film "Hunger" and again features a brave and bravura lead performance. Fassbender manages to capture the pain and suffering of his "affliction" and bring sympathy to a largely despicable character. Carey Mulligan is excellent as well as his sister who provides a catalyst for his embarassment, anger, and past sufferings. With this his second feature, McQueen again directs with unabashed ferocity and the opening and closing segments are unquestionable cinematic achievements. My only complaint here is that it doesn't feel like an authentic portrait of an American lifestyle, but rather an outsider's take. Regardless, "Shame" is a piece of stellar filmmaking and courageous acting that is a punch to the teeth of tepid and prudish American studios.