Michael Fassbender's ‘Shame’ Slapped With NC-17 Rating

Steve McQueen's provocative film includes full male frontal nudity and a great deal of sex

Director Steve McQueen's "Shame," a no-holds-barred movie about a man in the grip of sexual addiction, has officially received an NC-17 rating.

The rating was widely expected and Fox Searchlight knew the film, starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, would likely receive an NC-17. It includes full frontal male and female nudity and graphic sex.

The movie opens in limited — with the NC-17, extremely limited — release Dec. 2.

Also read: 'Shame' Shocks With Pitiless, NC-17 Sex

According to the Motion Picture Assn. of America, which rates movies, NC-17 films are "patently adult." Children are not admitted to them — even with their parents.

An NC-17 rating affects a movie's ability to make money for a number of reasons. Among the most important, many theaters won't show them. The rating also makes it difficult to advertise such movies.

Also read: 'The Artist,' 'Shame,' 'Melancholia' Coming to AFI Fest

The movie is an Oscar contender, and Fox Searchlight is aggressively pushing it for a number of awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Director.

"Shame" stars Fassbender as Brandon, a man who is addicted to sex, whose private life is disrupted when his sister, Cissy, played by Mulligan, shows up for an unannounced — and indefinite — visit.