Extreme Makeover: Art and Morality in The Shape of Things

Joseph H. Kupfer


Many of us might welcome a makeover in our appearance, but how would we feel if it involved being emotionally manipulated in the name of art? The story of a young woman’s reshaping of her boyfriend encourages us to consider whether the creation of art could justify what would otherwise be immoral behavior.  For example, do moral considerations always take precedence over other values, such as the aesthetic?  The subordinate themes of gender and narrative inform Neil LaBute’s cinematic portrayal of the competition between art and morality.


art; morality; manipulation; makeover; creativity; Pygmalion

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