John Young
September 09, 2011 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Fox Searchlight has picked up the U.S. distribution rights for Shame, the drama from director Steve McQueen that premiered to considerable acclaim earlier this week at the Venice and Telluride film festivals, and is currently playing at the Toronto Film Festival. The film reunites McQueen with actor Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class), who starred in the director’s first movie, the 2008 drama Hunger.

In Shame, Fassbender plays Brandon, a thirtysomething New Yorker with a compulsive addiction to sex. Brandon’s life begins to unravel when his younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment. The film, which could be headed for a NC-17 rating due to its graphic sex scenes, will open sometime before the year’s end, thereby pushing Fassbender into the Best Actor Oscar race.

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