Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a New Yorker who shuns intimacy with women but feeds his desires with a compulsive addiction to sex. When his wayward younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment stirring memories of their shared painful past, Brandon's insular life spirals out of control.
Shame premiered at The 68th Venice Film Festival in the main competition. Fassbender won a Volpi Cup for best actor at the Venice Film Festival for his role in the film. It was also screened at The 36th Toronto International Film Festival, The 49th New York Film Festival and The 55th BFI London Film Festival.
Shame will be officially released in the United Kingdom on January 13, 2012. Fox Searchlight will distribute the film in the US. The film was rated NC-17 (no one 17 and under admitted) by the Motion Picture Association of America. Searchlight has not planned to appeal the rating or make cuts for the less-restrictive R rating. Searchlight president Steve Gilula said, "I think NC-17 is a badge of honor, not a scarlet letter. We believe it is time for the rating to become usable in a serious manner".