In a not too distant parallel universe, Netflix’s Pieces of a Woman is angling for a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for Shia LaBeouf. The tale of a couple struggling to cope after a home birth goes tragically wrong was picking up some great notices, with Vanessa Kirby bring awarded the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival. Netflix promptly snapped it up and it became available to stream earlier this month.
Unfortunately, though, the movie has been somewhat overshadowed by chilling abuse claims against LaBeouf. The Transformers and Peanut Butter Falcon star has been in the headlines after his former partner FKA Twigs filed a lawsuit alleging a litany of extreme abusive behavior including strangulation, beatings, intentionally infecting her with an STD, and boasting about driving around LA shooting stray dogs. LaBeouf has subsequently missed out on a major MCU role, is now considered blacklisted and his representatives have said he’ll undergo “long term inpatient treatment.”
Recently, his Pieces of a Woman co-stars Ellen Burstyn and Vanessa Kirby, and the movie’s director Kornél Mundruczó were quizzed by USA Today for their take on what’s going on and Burstyn replied first, saying:
“He was always very respectful to me. I could feel him. He’s a tender person. There are other aspects to him, but I can feel his sensitivity. So, I liked working with him. I had only a good experience with him. And then the rest of his problems, I will leave to somebody else to talk about or deal with.”
Kirby, as before, refused to be drawn on specifics. She briefly commented that working with LaBeouf was “a professional experience,” then switched gears to talk more broadly about the film. But Mundruczó didn’t mince words, saying:
“These are serious allegations, and they are hard to read. My heart was filled with sorrow and sadness to read all of the accounts. And I feel all humans should feel to come forward and tell their stories. And I stand with them.”
In the wake of all this, Netflix removed LaBeouf from all Pieces of a Woman marketing material and he’s not been involved in promotional appearances or interviews. Furthermore, he’s been replaced on upcoming Olivia Wilde movie Don’t Worry, Darling by Harry Styles and currently has no upcoming projects. It seems that we’re unlikely to see Shia LaBeouf back on screen for some time to come, then, though even with the shocking nature of the allegations against him, I somehow doubt his career is completely over.