The Shape of Things

Director: Neil LaBute
Screenwriters: Neil LaBute

Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance Film Festival


Neil LaBute may be the world's most lovable misanthrope. To watch his films is to engage with a writer/director who can move from moments of quiet contemplation about love and relationships to paroxysms of rage that tap into our deepest pain-ridden souls. The Shape of Things will certainly and quite wonderfully enhance this reputation.

Don't misunderstand: LaBute unabashedly creating another film about the war between the sexes is a magnificent triumph of artistic vision and gut-wrenching catharsis, one of the independent film world's great viewing pleasures. Cast brilliantly and performed at the highest level, this tale of college youth seeking fulfillment in all the meaning of that word is exceptionally theatrical in style, self-consciously so, for the play's the thing, you know.

This Pygmalion in a different key is, of course, its own art project (after you see the film, you'll understand), and reflexively LaBute has concocted a provocative film that deals with human desire as it inquires about the theatricality of life. And if the dark glasses, curly hair, and corduroy coat of the film's protagonist remind you of someone—well, I'll never tell.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

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