Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: Lobster

by Alex White, Film Festival Correspondent for

Of all the emotions the human mind deals with during its lifetime, love is perhaps the most complicated. Love is not a two-sided or black and white emotion. Subtle nuances help define the meaning of love in all of us.

However, in the dystopian world of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, love is most definitely two sided…or so it seems. Within this world, those who are single are sent to a hotel where they are faced with finding true love in a mere 45 days or be turned into the animal of their choice for the rest of their lives.

The world of The Hotel in The Lobster is completely devoid of normal emotion. Everyone speaks matter-of-factly in a calculated fashion as if to treat love finding a mate like it were a simple equation.

Lanthimos runs with this bizarre premise and doesn’t look back. What results is without a doubt one of the best films of 2015 and a truly original dystopian wonder.

Colin Farrell shines as the dry-speaking David who faces potential transformation into a lobster if he does not find love in time. Along with his brother who is now a dog, David befriends a lisping man (John C. Reilly) and a man with a never ceasing lisp (Ben Wishaw) as they struggle to deal with their potential punishment.

The absurdity of The Hotel and its rules is complemented by the equally absurd Python-esque comedy in Lanthimos and Efthymis Fillipou. Many of the comedic elements help propel the commentary on love rather than overshadow it which exemplifies how expertly written and conceived the script truly is.

A narrative element that makes The Lobster truly daring though is the complete and well-executed tonal shift between the world of The Hotel and the “loner” colony. While The Hotel is a place focused on coupling, love and (artificial) companionship, the loner colony focuses on individualism and self-sustainability…to a point.

Both worlds of The Lobster are not what they appear. While The Hotel ultimately encourages relationships just for the sake of staying human, the loner colony often travels in a group and makes trips to The City for the supplies from the society they claim to be rebelling against.

Within the loners, David meets both the “Loner Leader” (Lea Seydoux) and an entrancing short sighted woman (Rachel Weisz). After discovering the Loner Leader may not be the true leader and rebel she longs to be, David and the short sighted woman must find a way to live within the worlds of the loners and The City or simply break off on their own.

Quite simply, this film will make you think. Unlike the war-centric dystopian stories from the YA novel realm, The Lobster invokes memories and thoughts of the likes of George Orwell and Ray Bradbury.

This is a soon-to-be-cult classic that cannot be missed.


The Lobster will be released in theaters and on VOD services in late 2015 or early 2016.



Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz find each other in THE LOBSTER. Photo courtesy Fantastic Fest.


Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at

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