The Lobster ★★★★½

"If you encounter any problems you cannot resolve yourselves, you will be assigned children ... that usually helps."

Yorgos Lanthimos' dystopian tale is simultaneously inventive, surreal, funny and frightening. In a society where being single is not permitted, those who find themselves without spouses are sent to a rural hotel where they have 45 days to find a life partner or they are turned into animals ... a task made only slightly less stressful by the fact that they are allowed to select which animal they can become, plus
d they are able to extend their stay by taking part in hunting expeditions, getting one extra day when they tranquilize runaway singles living a feral existence in the woods.

The film might seem a bit slow in places, but it works beautifully in an almost Kubrickian sort of way. Colin Farrell, John C. Reilly, and Rachel Weisz are wonderful to watch, putting up restrained performances that seem both darkly funny and heartrendingly emotional.

The examination of social norms in finding a mate or attempting to remain happily single are satirized brilliantly, to the point that one can't help but see the absurd parallels between these folks having to base a relationship on something like both partners being prone to nosebleeds or nearsightedness, and our own culture where people answer a few online questions to snag a date with a promising stranger. A fascinating story, beautifully shot in Ireland, this is a strange tale that is not for all tastes, but still very highly recommended.

Bob liked this review