Friday, February 10, 2017

The Lobster - 1 nomination

Original Screenplay - Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou

The Lobster is a dark comedy about a society with limited choices.  One option is to find a partner to be coupled with, but that person must share your defining characteristic - a propensity for nosebleeds, a limp, a talent for flamenco guitar, being a sociopath.  Single people come to a resort hotel and are given 45 days to find their mate, and if unable to do so, to be turned into the animal of their choices. (There is an opportunity to earn additional days, if you can successfully hunt down the people who have rejected society and bring them to justice.)  Couples do everything together, and single people are not allowed to be roaming about society without a partner by their sides.  Then there are the loners.  The people who hide in the woods and treasure solitude - they have dance parties near each other but plugged into their own earbuds. Nothing is communal.  In fact, connecting with another person and finding love is strictly forbidden.  

I found this film to be unique, original, and truly hilarious.  It's the kind of film (ironically) that you must see with friends in order to be able to delve deeply into all of the strange ideas you see in the story.   Yorgos Lanthimos is clearly adept in the world of disturbing dystopian reality (if you haven't seen Dogtooth, an Oscar nominated foreign film from 2009 that he directed, you really must), and The Lobster is one of those movies where you spend the first bit of the film not quite understanding what's going on, and then once you figure it out you're just tickled.  The actors in the film make it so believable, both the high profile stars like Colin Farrel, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly, and the ones about whom we know little like Angeliki Papoulia.

There are so many funny, creepy scenes and one-liners in this film that there is no surprise that The Lobster is nominated for its screenplay.  This is a quirky film, so if you prefer the mainstream, easy to follow kind of story, this film is not for you.  But if you're intrigued by a society that gives a couple a child to make things better, because that's usually what helps an awkward marriage, I think The Lobster is one you will cherish. 

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