The Lobster, the surreal dystopian satire from director Yorgos Lanthimos, has seen a few bumps to its US release date, which usually doesn't bode well (it was originally scheduled for a December release; it had its theatrical premieres in much of Europe last fall). But in this case, it may be less about quality and more about genuine confusion as to where to put something this weird. Drier than dry, Lanthimos' film takes place in a society where single people are forced to spend 45 days in a resort, where they must either find a mate or be turned into an animal of their choosing. (Our protagonist David, played by Colin Farrell, chooses a lobster, hence the title.) Rogue singles hide out in the forest, evading the law, and are hunted down for sport.
Battle Royale meets the Bachelor
But beyond its Battle Royale meets The Bachelor premise, The Lobster also suggests a world where adults have learned to socialize from a wikiHow manual, discussing their hobbies and likes and dislikes with dispassionate recitation. Imagine a kind of metaphysical limbo that has taken the form of speed-dating, and you more or less have the vibe of the resort. John C. Reilly co-stars as a particularly hopeless case who befriends David, a few shades of absurdity short of Dr. Steve Brule. It makes sense; The Lobster feels like an extended Tim and Eric segment if you swapped out the weed for Wellbutrin. FWIW, it was my favorite thing I saw at last year's Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered.
This is a truly weird one, and the perfect antidote for the Dumpuary doldrums. Re-mark your calendars for March 11th, when Alchemy will release it stateside.