Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos was never a director that particularly begged to be given the reigns to an English-language debut. As remarkable and stylish as his first two features, Dogtooth and the oft-overlooked Alps, were, his taste always obviously skewed towards the more bracingly perverse and potently dark. Mind you, we’re talking about a director whose first film centered on an incestuous family that was all but held hostage by a dictatorial paterfamilias, with plenty of sadistic and masochistic violence in the mix.
Still, the man has an eye for visual and narrative invention, and thus we’ve been given The Lobster, his third feature and first with a big, recognizable cast, including Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Lea Seydoux, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, and Olivia Colman. In Lanthimos’ latest, a future dystopia requires citizens to marry at a certain age or be turned into an animal of your choosing, the title being a reference to Farrell’s character’s choice if things should go that way. While on a retreat at a place that sets up people – think speed dating meets The Hunger Games – Farrell’s characters comes in contact with a band of outsiders acting as the resistance, headed by Weisz and Seydoux’s characters. No fair ruining what happens next but you can check out the first official U.S. trailer for the film below to get a more clear sense of Lanthimos’ latest wild world.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Lobster:
An unconventional love story set in a dystopian near future where single people, according to the rules of the Town, are arrested and transferred to the Hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released in the woods. A desperate man escapes from the Hotel to the woods where the Loners live and there he falls in love although it’s against the rules.