In the fictional universe made up by director Yorgos Lanthimos for his film The lobster, people are not allowed to be single. They have to find a partner. For instance, when David’s wife leaves him for another man, he is taken to a seaside hotel/resort. The manager (Olivia Colman) informs David that he has 45 days to find a proper match. Since he is short-sighted, David will have to find a lady who is also short-sighted. People with nosebleed, have to match with people who have nosebleed, people with lisp have to find a partner who lisp. If after 45 days you aren’t matched, you are turned into the animal of your choice. David tells the manager he wants to become a lobster. The tenants are constantly lectured about the virtues of married life. Sometimes they go into the woods, where they hunt escapees (called ‘loners’) with tranquilizer guns. A captured loner gets you an extra day to find a partner. At the resort David befriends a lisping man (John C. Reilly) and limping man (Ben Whishaw). But David eventually escapes to the woods where he joins a colony of loners. Their leader is played by Léa Seydoux. He meets and falls in love with a short-sighted woman (Rachel Weisz). The lobster is an allegorical comedy that tries to tell us somethings about the world we live in. That is fine, but it is slow-moving and inaccessible (but more accessible than other Lanthimos films). One thing is sure, not everyone will like. The best I can say is that it is ‘interesting’. No more.
And the Oscar went to… Original screenplay rightly went to Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea.
John C. Reilly