Review: The Lobster

If you choose satire, much incredulous laughter awaits.


What if being single was a crime? A dystopic future of marrieds is the world posited by The Lobster, but that's just the logline. Here's what actually goes on: There's a place where eligible singles gather. They have 45 days to find a mate—hetero, natch—and if they fail they're turned into an animal of their choosing and sent into the wild. (Oh, that old line.) The Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, who also co-wrote, has assembled a handful of indie stars for his fifth feature, which won raves at Cannes last year. Colin Farrell stars as the only character with a name (David), a sad sack whose hopeful sweetness belies Farrell's usual swaggering. John C. Reilly is his sidekick, The Lisping Man, who's very Mr. Cellophane. Rachel Weisz, as a legitimate but out-of-bounds love interest for David, and Lea Seydoux as the leader of a radical group, are welcome appearances in the film's back half. (Honourable mention goes to Angeliki Papoulia as The Heartless Woman, i.e. A Killer.) It's hard to get a read on the film initially but if you choose satire, much incredulous laughter awaits. All the actors speak with a straight-faced, flat affectation, and not for nothing even the married people don't seem happy, which is maybe the point of it all. 


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