Writer-director Neil LaBute’s new film THE SHAPE OF THINGS adapted from a play is his latest misanthropic take on relationships and a meditation on what is art. Rachel Weisz is outstanding as Evelyn the beautiful, controlling M.F.A student at Mercy College who dates undergrad Adam played by the adequate Paul Rudd. Evelyn manipulates and molds Adam, transforming him from a meek, overweight nerd to confident, cute hipster. Out goes the brown corduroy blazer Adam has had for years and in comes the cool nuevo-retro looking jacket. His nose undergoes a little snip as does his hair and his cuteness emerges, as does a newfound confidence.
Edgy, disturbing and provocative the film will most likely elicit quite a bit of discomfort as you watch Evelyn (Eve) reshape the hapless Adam who is like a lamb led to slaughter. She devours him in every way- spiritually, psychologically and physically spitting him out in a surprise ending that was pretty darn hard to sit through. LaBute’s reference to Medea in the film isn’t coincidental. Evelyn is a powerful sorceress who although doesn’t murder any kids in the film but is at times a scary woman who eventually in the name of art does something pretty horrific.
Good acting all around including Gretchen Mol as Adam’s friend Jenny and Frederick Weller as Phil, Jenny’s boyfriend.