The Killing of a Sacred Deer ★★★★

With his second English-language film following the sociological satire of The Lobster (2016), it’s clear that writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos’ sits squarely in my wheelhouse. And surprisingly enough perhaps, it is Colin Farrell who has emerged to exemplify the Lanthimos’ distinct approach to dialogue: almost theatrically banal, punctuated by abrupt little tears at the seams of social convention.  To be sure, it’s not for everyone.  But to one drawn in by his mischievous modus operandi, toward the end of the film, I found myself oddly unmoved by what would otherwise be a rather shocking proposal made by Nicole Kidman’s character - a sign that Lanthimos had relieved me of the distraction of an instant emotional response and moved me into a more philosophical headspace. And that shift proves to be apropos, because although The Killing of a Sacred Deer often looks and sounds like a horror film, it ultimately proves to be a rather provocative exploration of our conflicting notions of justice - criminal, distributive, and poetic.

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