Every awards season there seems to be that one acclaimed flick that stands out as the “controversial dark horse” of the pack. In 2011, it’s co-writer/director Steve McQueen’s Shame, which reunites him with his acclaimed Hunger star, Michael Fassbender.

An official domestic green band trailer has been unveiled for Shame, which (for now) has been slapped with the incriminatory NC-17 Rating from the MPAA. However, it looks like Fox Searchlight is not going to attempt to get that stigma-heavy rating appealed – and based on the subject matter alone that’s probably fine, seeing how this film is truly not meant for anyone of a non-legal age.

Fassbender’s newfound popularity in the wake of X-Men: First Class hasn’t led him astray from his indie roots just yet – seeing how he’s set to reunite with McQueen a third time in the future, on 12 Years a Slave. Between Shame and his part as Carl Jung in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, Fassbender will have a monopoly on playing (to put it politely) emotionally-stunted men who handle their personal demons in a less-than-healthy manner.

On that note – check out the official synopsis for Shame below:

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.

Now have a look at the official domestic Shame trailer and a new clip (both are safe for all audiences) below:

Based on this early footage alone, Fassbender looks to deliver yet another powerful performance – through a mixture of subtle expressiveness, explicit behavior, and uncouth action (there’s a reason this movie is controversial). The mixture of Sean Bobbitt’s unobtrusive yet effective cinematography, McQueen’s solid direction, and the naturalistic feel of everything from the dialogue to the collective performances of the Shame cast looks quite good right now. All things considered, this film seems like a must-see for diehard indie cinemaphiles.

Fair warning: if the glimpse of emotionally-raw and disturbing material shown in the theatrical preview and clip above left you feeling too uncomfortable, you’ll probably want to pass on Shame. Believe us – based on early word of mouth about what goes down in this movie, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Shame begins a limited theatrical release in the U.S. on December 2nd, 2011.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers (via Movieweb)