January 19, 2017

“Shame” trailer rivets – AWARDS ALLEY


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It’s a legitimate challenge. How does a studio sell Steve McQueen’s “Shame,” the compelling story of a sex addict (Michael Fassbender), to the popcorn crowd?

Arthouse ticket buyers are in. You know that. They’ve read the reviews from Venice and Toronto. They’ve seen “Hunger.” They are chomping at the bit to see “Shame,” and they’ll get their chance on Dec. 2.

But Fox Searchlight wants this riveting film to reach larger audiences … and they’d like to see it in the Oscar race. So they have to market the film’s strengths. And this new trailer, I think, establishes the film’s mood and tone right out of the gate. So much is conveyed with a look, a pregnant pause. “Shame” speaks volumes about compulsion, addiction and regret. And all of that is captured in the scenes chosen for this clip, without spoiling any of the film’s devastating surprises.

I don’t remember Harry Escott’s score playing such a role, but perhaps I was just engrossed with McQueen’s imagery. Either way, this is a great clip, and a strong launch pad for a film that’s going to get a lot of attention in the coming weeks.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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