Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
I'm late to review many 2015 films and The Lobster may be the best one yet. Like the best of 2015, its an instant classic, as retro as it is progressive and never locked into one category of fiction. The Lobster is a romantic sci-fi satire of the dating world. In some ways it reminds me of Spike Jonze's "Her", but I much prefer this. Its a more optimistic and yet bleaker side of the coin. And overall its eliminates the problems of that film by being more concentrated, witty, tasteful and romantic. It lacks the comforting honesty of narcissistic pain and being truly alone. Thats the point. Both are Millennial tales of losing love and finding it again, but The Lobster seems more genuine in its tales of healing and rediscovery by boiling down the formula to a less pretentious bit of deadpan absurdity and not as this excessive masturbatory reflection of rejection so much as a glorious celebration of learning how to feel and love again.
The sheen and shallowness of the movie suits the underlying themes perfectly. This is one of the most beautifully crafted films ever made, not just in the comedy/absurdist/romantic genres. Its very dramatic and artful while reveling in silliness and blowing up all pretensions you would expect from a movie like this. The director and his team know that the sugary comedy will make the bitter pills easier to swallow but they know that won't make it a lesser film. The Lobster is never diluted or undercut by the ridiculous plot or wooden characters or shallow premise. There is a rich wildness inside the phoniness of it all. What kind of filmmaking is this? Its the perfect mixture of childish dream and woken maturity.
The cast are so perfectly placed that it seems that they wrote the characters themselves or had lived the experience of the film already. This is a film where everyone working with the material definitely got it which makes it so much stronger. The cast is essential in comedies and with such a quirky tone, its a miracle that we have a generation of actors who are so warm, methodical, clever and funny.
I've watched this a few times and I know I will rewatch it soon. The Lobster is destined to become an influential piece by embracing its assured obscurity and being made on its own terms. Many countries and production houses collaborated to make this and that may the only way to make great unique works of cinematic art like this. The film audience gets the best of the best from all over the film world. At its heart, The Lobster is the purest B-Movie there can be, but in rolling with that punch, everything about it becomes A+ quality. I wouldn't be surprised if everyone involved is elevated in their future because of this and you have to wonder will their creative team reassemble for another project. Its a maverick move to make a film so noncommercial and not lending
to a sequel, but this is the first film in ages that I've watched and desperately wanted more.