Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: THE LOBSTER

By Liz Lopez

Rating: B+

In our society, people can be inquisitive to an extensive degree about other people’s personal life. If a person is single, the question comes up – “Why don’t you have a boyfriend? You are so pretty.” Another one is “Why aren’t you married?” and so on and so forth. Many of us don’t want to put out our personal business out there and it does get tiring to respond or avoid responding at all without saying “It is none of your business.” Imagine living in a society in the not so distant future where the expectation is to have a mate within a limited amount of time, otherwise, your single status labeled as a “Loner” will result in irreversible consequences.

The opening night film at last year’s Fantastic Fest here in Austin was The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos’ (Alps, Dogtooth) first English-language feature that premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and was the 2015 Prix du Jury Winner at Cannes. If you did not attend the festival abroad or here in Austin,  the writer/director’s latest feature now has a wider theatrical release from A24 this weekend, including Austin. Although some audiences may be leery of a film with comedy and romance, I guarantee that this is not the predictable, formulaic script that is often released from the movie industry in California.

The cast features Colin Farrell as the protagonist, David, who is moved to a place known as the “Hotel” after his marriage has failed. But before we discover much about David’s status, the initial scene is that of a woman (Jacqueline Abrahams) driving through the countryside and definitely is not in a good mood. Suddenly, she pulls off the road with gun in hand and shoots one donkey within a group. No dialogue, narration, nada. It is a horrifying act, and then, the viewer is left to watch the other donkeys circle around the recently deceased. The audience is left wondering why, but then the stories of individuals at the “Hotel” and other places begin to unfold to provide more insight. It is a must see for the performances of Colin Farrell, Olivia Colman who portrays the “hotel” manager, Ben Whishaw, John C. Reilly, Angeliki Papoulia, Rachel Weisz and the other cast. Enjoy having a choice now!

Much of the filming is done along the coast in Ireland and the cinematography of the area provides scenes of gloominess to accompany the individuals struggle through what is expected of them, either within or exterior to the “Hotel” walls.

Additional cast includes Lea Seydoux, Ariane Labed, Ashley Jensen, Michael Smiley and Jessica Barden. The film is in English and French dialogue and has a run time of 118 minutes.

The film will open May 20 at Alamo South Lamar in Austin, Texas, and Alamo at the New Mission in San Francisco, California, and on May 27 at Alamo Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Source: A24, Alamo Drafthouse

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