Finishing "Shame"

I wrote about the encounter between Brandon and the young woman played so powerfully by Lucy Walters that opens “Shame.” I had forgotten the final scene of the movie, a reprise of the first scene. And, in reading a couple of interviews with Walters, I realized I got one detail wrong: she didn’t just have an engagement ring – there was a wedding ring next to it.

In the final scene, the reprise, the character played by Walters seems older, more confident, less demure, less… innocent. She also is bolder. There’s no missing what she wants. She played that first scene so well communicating that the character didn’t know what she wanted, so my confusion, uncertainty, reflected accurately her own. In the final scene, her desire is unmistakable, unmissable, and it’s Brandon who is inscrutable, unsure.


Walters has been rightly showered with praise for this performance, a little masterpiece of less than two minutes in total, in which without speaking a line she manages to convey character development worthy of a full movie of its own.

I want to see that movie. I have a feeling it might be a little bit less of a downer than “Shame.”

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