A lonely man struggles to find love in a world where being
single gets you arrested and transformed into an animal.
The Lobster (2015)
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou
Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Ashley Jensen, Angeliki Papoulia, Jessica Barden, Ariane Labed
Oscar Nominations - Best Original Screenplay
Holy lord, this film was not what I expected. Yorgos Lanthimos has proven time and time again that his films are not for the faint of heart and never what you think they're going to be. He had a big hit two years back with The Favourite, where he effectively rewrote the book on how to do a biopic. But the first time he got Oscar attention was with The Lobster, an oddball film about the consequences of being alone and the sacrifices one must make for companionship. Led by a subtle but strong performance from Colin Farrell, this bizarre dystopian black comedy will make you scratch your head and wonder what animal you would choose to be. I think I'd be a cat.
Welcome to The Hotel, where every single person left in The City is brought to find a companion. They have roughly a month and a half to do so, and if they are unable to find a mate, they are turned into an animal of their choice. David (Farrell) just arrived after his wife left him for another man, and he doesn't fare well in the romance department. After deceitfully marrying a psychopath, he flees The Hotel and winds up with the loners living in the woods, where he meets the love of his life (Weisz). Only problem is, the loners aren't allowed to mingle, or they are executed. It's a very dark movie that just gets darker, but Lanthimos's particular brand of comedy shines throughout. You need a sick sense of humor to fully appreciate it.
The Lobster takes all the awkwardness of dating and combines it with the emotionless future setting of Equilibrium. The end result is a one of a kind dark comedy that, if you watch it, you will never stop talking about. Every character in the film seems to be suffering immensely, likely because they think they're on the verge of losing their human lives. You can feel an indescribable tension the entire time, and with its ambiguous ending, you really won't know what to say.