“Shame”: A New NC-17 Movie

The Hollywood Reporter is…. well, reporting that Steve McQueen’s new movie Shame, which opens December 2nd in a few places, got an NC-17 rating. That happens now and then and the studio normally appeals or edits the movie to avoid the death knell that is the NC-17. But this time, Fox Searchlight is going to treat it as a badge of honor and stick with the rating, which it got because the movie’s about a sex addict (played by Magneto from X-Men: First Class), so it’s dirty.

NPR also has a great write-up on how the public use of the rating system is all screwed up because it’s not being used as it’s meant to be: namely, as information for parents. Instead, a film with an NC-17 rating will get limited theatrical releases, limited advertising channels and a lot of stigma, because everyone thinks it’s going to be a Skinemax movie. And of course, no one watches porn. The ratings system is also inconsistent, because crazy violent and gory movies are routinely rated R, but even moderately sexual or crude ones are rated NC-17. Then there’s The Human Centipede, which ended up with an R-rating while Requiem For a Dream had to get rid of a sex scene to get one.

Finally, no, the Steve McQueen from The Great Escape isn’t back from the dead; this Steve McQueen is British, and critically acclaimed for his 2008 movie, Hunger.

From The Hollywood Reporter and NPR


  1. That movie looks great. Definitely seeing it when it comes to SF.

    Based on the title, I’m gonna assume that the screen writer isn’t glorifying being a sex addict. The MPAA is ridiculous. Watch the documentary “This Film is Not Yet Rated” (on Netflix Instant Play).

    • Yeah, it definitely doesn’t look like he’s glorifying it. I’m half afraid the guy will end up sleeping with his sister. At any rate, it’s probably for sex what Requiem for a Dream was for heroin.