The Laramie Project (2002)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Laramie, WY, is a small town which became infamous overnight in the fall of 1998, when Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was found tied to a fence after being brutally beaten and left to die, setting off a nationwide debate about hate crimes and homophobia. A month after the crime, Moises Kaufman, a writer and director with the New York City theater troupe the Tectonic Theater Project, traveled to Laramie with a handful of actors to interview people who lived in and around Laramie in preparation for an upcoming production; Kaufman's goal was to create a play that focused not on the assault on Matthew Shepard, but on the community where such an attack could happen, and how many of the citizens reacted to the crime. The result was +The Laramie Project, which was first performed in early 2000, and was performed in Laramie in the fall of that year, two years after Kaufman and his associates first arrived in the city. The Laramie Project is a film adaptation of Kaufman's play, in which the thoughts and opinions of Laramie residents from all points of the political spectrum are presented alongside re-enacted excerpts from the trials of the two men who attacked Matthew Shepard. Produced for the premium cable network HBO, +The Laramie Project was adapted for the screen by Moises Kaufman, who served as both writer and director. The distinguished cast includes Dylan Baker, Steve Buscemi, Peter Fonda, Janeane Garofolo, Laura Linney, Amy Madigan, Camryn Manheim, Christina Ricci, and Frances Sternhagen. … More
as Moises Kaufman
as Romaine Patterson
as Doc O'Connor
as Sherry Johnson
as Rulon Stacey
as Father Roger Schmit
as Rob Debree
as Jedediah Schultz
as Dr. Cantway
as Aaron Kreifels
as Catherine Connolly
as Harry Woods
as Matt Galloway
as Dennis Shepard
as Off. Reggie Fluty
as Rebecca Hilliker
as Lucy Thompson
as Marge Murray
as Aaron McKinney
as Russell Henderson
as Zackie Salmon
as Pam Sears
as Trish Steger
as Jonas Slonaker
as Reverend Fred Phelps
as Stephen Belber
as John Peacock
as Leigh Fondakowski
as Greg Pierotti
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Critic Reviews for The Laramie Project
The Laramie Project is not really about Matthew Shepard but about this question of identification with Matthew, and of identification with the larger community of Laramie that admitted, sustained, eliminated, grieved, and civilly avenged Matthew.
Though well-intentioned, dealing with the relevant issues of hate crimes and gay bashing, artisticaly speaking, Moises Kaufman's film, the opening night of 2001 Sundance Fest, is quite disappointing.
a potent, thought-provoking drama that offers insight not only into Shepard's case, but into the changing attitudes of Americans in general.
questions our basic humanity, and gives an accurate picture of the current state of affairs of tolerance in America's schizoid version of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
It's a compelling and horrifying story, and The Laramie Project is worthwhile for reminding us that this sort of thing does, in fact, still happen in America.
Kaufman creates an eerie sense of not only being there at the time of these events but the very night Matthew was killed.
The bottom line is the piece works brilliantly.
The film does give a pretty good overall picture of the situation in Laramie following the murder of Matthew Shepard.
... a workmanlike film and important in that it will reach a large audience with a story that needs to be told.
Audience Reviews for The Laramie Project
The Laramie Project is the movie to watch on the Matthew Shepard ordeal. Although far from perfect, this is a well acted and directed docu drama that tells a remarkable true story. Although far from perfect, the story is compelling and is worth seeing if you want to watch something truly engaging. This is a must see film for people interested in this poignant story. I thought that it was a well made movie that could have been a bit better, but it is much better than The Matthew Shepard story. The performances are pretty good and the story is engaging from start to finish, and there are some very good cast members here that give some good performances. There are things that could have been changed to make the film better, but for what it is, it works as an interesting docudrama. Although not perfect, it's still well acted and tells a great story. What Happened to Matthew Shepard should never happened, but it also opened the door to much needed action against hate crimes and equality. This is the film to watch if you're interested in the Matthew Shepard ordeal, and it is entertaining with good, memorable performances and well written story. However like I said, it could have been reworked slightly just to make it better. The Laramie Project will most likely have an impact on any viewer that will watch the film, and it is a film that you can't forget. The film has its flaws of course, but it is a well made movie that brings to light an important issue.More
The story is sad & tragic since it happened for real, but it doesn't work too well as a docudrama. I mean, it's just about okay. I thought that it was a documentary before I went for it, but later realized (after seeing Christina Ricci) that it's a docudrama.
Don't have high expectations & you might be able to sit through it.
I am not a huge fan of documentaries. I have nothing against them, but I guess there are other things that I would rather watch. Like a movie...and this is a movie made in documentary style with real actors playing the parts. A very interesting concept. Mostly, though, the fact that this movie is about a real crime made it even more interesting. The horrible, horrific, and appalling story of the murder of this poor young man needed to be toldMore
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