Now the fact that you will turn into an animal if you fail to fall in love with someone during your stay here is not something that should upset you or get you down. Just think, as an animal you’ll have a second chance to find a companion.
I feel like I’ve been waiting for this movie for years; Lanthimos, director of Alps and Dogtooth, is certainly one of the most interesting directors working today and I was excited to see his first English language film. Lanthimos has a real gift for dazzlingly strange high concept and this film is right in that vein. In this strange, muted film, society doesn’t just frown on people being single; it’s literally against the law. So, a minimal, but brilliant, Colin Farrell finds himself at a mysterious hotel for singles where he has forty-five days to meet someone and fall in love or he will be transformed into an animal. That’s really all I want to tell you, because this is a movie you need to see knowing very little about it. It’s a very strange movie, for sure, but it’s both a sharply written, hilarious satire and a melancholy musing on loneliness and isolation. The cast is absolutely stellar. Besides Farrell, there’s Rachel Weisz, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, John C. Reilly, Olivia Colman (you know, from Broadchurch) and scene stealing turns from Jessica Barden and, in particular, a brilliant Aggeliki Papoulia as a sociopathic woman searching for a man as unfeeling and cruel as she is. Again, I could talk about so many amazing scenes, but I’m just not going to do so because this is most certainly one of the best movies I’ve seen so far this year and you really have to go watch it. It’s a without question masterpiece that is both absolutely engrossing in the moment and haunting in the memory. It’s, in my estimation, as close to perfect as a film can get. In the early scenes of the film, Farrell has to let the hotel staff know what kind of animal he’d like to be turned into, should he fail to find love. When he tells Olivia Colman his choice, she muses, “Lobster is an excellent choice.” What an understatement. 4 stars.
tl;dr – side-splittingly funny, hauntingly melancholy, brilliantly performed by a great ensemble; The Lobster is a brilliantly strange masterpiece from the iconoclastic Lanthimos. 4 stars.