This is a sobering character study of a lonely man, with affecting performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Although at times it felt the film was wallowing in its own misery, it still felt very real and hit close to home emotionally and psychologically. The story follows a man named Brandon, played by Fassbender, who either is afraid of intimacy, or prefers not to be intimate, but who fulfills his sexual desires by basically being a man-whore. However, his life starts to come apart once his sister moves in with him unexpectedly. This disrupts the life he's constructed for himself, and as a result, takes him to some very dark places. There is a glimmer of hope as he attempts to build a relationship with a co-worker, but that too ends because of who he is, or has become. What I especially like about the film is that it dares to show things explicitly that others would only hint at. It's fearless in that way. I also liked the depth of character as Fassbender portrays a man who is forced to confront himself and his whole modus operandi. He's forced to think about other people besides himself, and to see how his actions (or inaction) affects those around him. Overall, this is a brilliant film by a relatively new director, Steve McQueen (no, not that one). Highly recommended, but for adults only.