Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Yorgos Lanthimos|
|Music by||Johnnie Burn|
|Edited by||Yorgos Mavropsaridis|
|Box office||$15.7 million|
The Lobster is a 2015 absurdist dystopian black comedy film directed, co-written, and co-produced by Yorgos Lanthimos, co-produced by Ceci Dempsy, Ed Guiney, and Lee Magiday, and co-written by Efthimis Filippou. In the film's setting, single people are given 45 days to find a romantic partner or otherwise be turned into animals. It stars Colin Farrell as a newly single man trying to find someone so he can remain human, and Rachel Weisz as a woman with whom he attempts to form a relationship. The film is a co-production by Ireland, the United Kingdom, Greece, France and the Netherlands.
It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and won the Jury Prize. It was shown in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 89th Academy Awards and for Outstanding British Film at the 69th British Academy Film Awards.
David (Colin Farrell) is escorted to a hotel after his wife has left him for another man. The hotel manager reveals that single people have 45 days to find a partner, or they will be transformed into an animal; the dog accompanying David is his brother. David chooses to become a lobster, due to their life cycle and his love of the sea. David makes acquaintances with Robert, a man with a lisp, and John, a man with a limp, who become his quasi-friends. John explains that he was injured in an attempt to reconnect with his mother, who had been transformed into a wolf.
Robert is caught masturbating, and the hotel manager burns his fingers in a toaster. Relationships require partners to have a distinguishing trait in common. John is told a woman has arrived with a limp, but he says she limps from an injury that will heal and is not a suitable match.
Residents can extend their deadline by hunting and tranquilizing the single people who live in the forest; each captured "loner" earns them a day. On one hunt, a woman with a fondness for biscuits offers David sexual favours, which he declines. She tells him that if she fails to find a mate, she will kill herself by jumping from a hotel window.
John then wins the affections of a woman with constant nosebleeds by purposely smashing his nose in secret. They move to the couples section to begin a month-long trial partnership. David later decides to court a notoriously cruel woman who has tranquilized more loners than anyone else. Their initial conversation is interrupted by the screams of the biscuit-loving woman, who has severely injured herself jumping from a window. Although troubled by the incident, David pretends to enjoy the woman's suffering to gain the heartless woman's interest. He later joins her in a jacuzzi, and she begins choking; when he does not attempt help, she decides they are a match. The two are shifted to the couples' suite. When David wakes up one morning, he finds she has kicked David's brother (in dog form) to death. When David cries in response, she concludes their relationship is a lie and drags him to the hotel manager to have him punished by turning him into an animal that no one likes. However, he escapes and, with the help of a sympathetic maid, tranquilizes and transforms his partner into an unspecified animal.
Escaping the hotel, David joins the loners in the woods. In contrast to the hotel's rules, they forbid any romance, with mutilation as punishment. The hotel maid is a mole for the loners, planted in the hotel to sabotage it. The leader of the loners (Léa Seydoux) takes loners to visit the city to get some supplies.
The loners launch a mini-raid to sabotage the hotel's work. David reveals to the nosebleed woman that John has been faking. John forces David to leave. Other loners hold the hotel manager and her husband at gunpoint, tricking him into shooting his wife to save himself, but the gun is not loaded, leaving the couple to face each other.
Soon David, who is shortsighted, begins a secret relationship with a shortsighted woman (Rachel Weisz). They develop a gestural code for communication. They plan to escape together, but the mole who is now with the camp finds the shortsighted woman's journal and discovers her plan to escape with David. She takes the woman to the city, ostensibly to have an operation to cure her shortsightedness, but blinds her instead. In anger, the woman kills the hotel maid, thinking she is killing the leader.
She tells David about her blindness. They try to find something else they have in common, to no avail. He says they'll figure it out, and tells her to continue with their plan. Early the next morning, David overpowers and ties up the leader, leaving her in what appears to be his grave. He and the blind woman escape to the city, stopping at a restaurant. Seeking to reestablish sameness, David goes to the restroom and prepares to blind himself with a steak knife. The now blind woman waits at the table for him to return as the waiter tends to her.
- Colin Farrell as David
- Rachel Weisz as Shortsighted Woman
- Léa Seydoux as Loner Leader
- Ariane Labed as the Maid
- Ben Whishaw as Limping Man (John)
- Angeliki Papoulia as Heartless Woman
- John C. Reilly as Lisping Man (Robert)
- Jessica Barden as Nosebleed Woman
- Olivia Colman as Hotel Manager
- Ashley Jensen as Biscuit Woman
- Michael Smiley as Loner Swimmer
- Roger Ashton-Griffiths as Doctor
- Ewen MacIntosh as Hotel Guard
Principal photography began on 24 March 2014, and concluded on 9 May 2014. Filming took place in Dublin, Ireland, which represents "The City" in the film, and also at locations in and around County Kerry, including Sneem, Dromore Woods and Kenmare.
Marketing and distribution
In May 2014, it was announced that Sony Pictures Releasing acquired the distribution rights for Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Scandinavia, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. A film still featuring Farrell, Whishaw, and Reilly was released around the same time. In May 2015, Alchemy acquired United States distribution rights; however, due to the company's financial struggles at the time, A24 acquired the US rights instead. Originally scheduled for an 11 March 2016 release, it was rescheduled to 13 May 2016.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 88% based on reviews from 227 critics, with an average rating of 7.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "As strange as it is thrillingly ambitious, The Lobster is definitely an acquired taste — but for viewers with the fortitude to crack through Yorgos Lanthimos' offbeat sensibilities, it should prove a savory cinematic treat." At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 82, based on 44 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
Oliver Lyttelton of The Playlist awarded the film an "A" grade and described it as "an atypically rich and substantial comedy" with "an uproarious yet deadpan satire concerning societal constructs, dating mores and power structures that also manages to be a surprisingly moving, gloriously weird love story." He concluded that the film was Lanthimos' "most accessible and purely enjoyable film yet". Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave a positive review and commended the film for being "visually stunning, narratively bold, and totally singular", adding that "it opens [one's] eyes to a new way of storytelling."
Guy Lodge, writing for Variety, called the film "a wickedly funny, unexpectedly moving satire of couple-fixated society", elaborating that Lanthimos' "confounding setup emerges as a brilliant allegory for the increasingly superficial systems of contemporary courtship, including the like-for-like algorithms of online dating sites and the hot-or-not snap judgments of Tinder."
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian rated the film three stars out of five, and wrote that The Lobster is "elegant and eccentric in Lanthimos’ familiar style", but "appears to run out of ideas at its mid-way point". IGN awarded it a score of 8.5 out of 10, saying "Colin Farrell heads up this surreal, hilarious and ultimately quite disturbing tale."
Wai Chee Dimock, writing in the Los Angeles Review of Books, called The Lobster a "fable of purgatory" and saw the ending not as "a romanticism finally let out of the bag, but a romanticism handicapped and disabled." She compared the film to the work of Samuel Beckett, saying that, for this all-Greek team, "absurdist theater is second nature, as it was second nature to the Irish Beckett a century ago."
|List of awards and nominations|
|Award / film festival||Category||Recipient(s)||Result|
|Academy Awards||Best Original Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Nominated|
|ACE Eddie Awards||Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical||Yorgos Mavropsaridis||Nominated|
|Austin Film Critics Association||Best Film||The Lobster||8th Place|
|Best Actor||Colin Farrell||Nominated|
|Best Original Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Nominated|
|Belgian Film Critics Association||Grand Prix||The Lobster||Nominated|
|British Academy Film Awards||Outstanding British Film||The Lobster||Nominated|
|British Independent Film Awards||Best British Independent Film||The Lobster||Nominated|
|Best Director||Yorgos Lanthimos||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Colin Farrell||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Olivia Colman||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Ben Whishaw||Nominated|
|Best Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Nominated|
|Producer of the Year||Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Lee Magiday||Nominated|
|Cannes Film Festival||Palme d'Or||The Lobster||Nominated|
|Jury Prize||The Lobster||Won|
|Queer Palm – Special Mention||The Lobster||Won|
|Palm Dog Award – Grand Jury Prize||Bob the dog||Won|
|Crested Butte Film Festival||Best Narrative Feature||The Lobster||Won|
|Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Actor||Colin Farrell||Nominated|
|Best Original Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Awards||Best Original Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Nominated|
|Denver Film Critics Society||Best Original Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Nominated|
|Dorian Awards||Screenplay of the Year||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Nominated|
|Dublin Film Critics' Circle||Best Irish Film||The Lobster||5th place|
|Best Actor||Colin Farrell||5th place|
|European Film Awards||Best European Film||The Lobster||Nominated|
|Best European Director||Yorgos Lanthimos||Nominated|
|Best European Actor||Colin Farrell||Nominated|
|Best European Screenwriter||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Won|
|Best Costume Designer||Sarah Blenkinsop||Won|
|People's Choice Award||The Lobster||Nominated|
|Evening Standard British Film Awards||Best Film||The Lobster||Nominated|
|Award for Comedy||Olivia Colman||Nominated|
|Film Fest Gent||Georges Delerue Award for Best Sound Design||The Lobster||Won|
|Florida Film Critics Circle||Best Film||The Lobster||Won|
|Best Director||Yorgos Lanthimos||Runner-up|
|Best Original Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Won|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy||Colin Farrell||Nominated|
|Golden Tomato Awards||Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie 2016||The Lobster||4th Place|
|IndieWire Critics Poll||Best Actor||Colin Farrell||3rd Place|
|Best Screenplay||The Lobster||5th Place|
|Irish Film & Television Awards||Best Actor in a Lead Role (Film)||Colin Farrell||Nominated|
|London Film Critics' Circle||British / Irish Film of the Year||The Lobster||Nominated|
|Supporting Actress of the Year||Olivia Colman||Nominated|
|British / Irish Actor of the Year||Colin Farrell||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association||Best Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Won|
|Miami International Film Festival||Grand Jury Award for Best Director||Yorgos Lanthimos||Won|
|Online Film Critics Society 2015||Best Non-U.S. Films||The Lobster||Won|
|Online Film Critics Society 2016||Best Original Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Nominated|
|Rotterdam International Film Festival||ARTE International Prize for Best CineMart 2013 Project||The Lobster||Won|
|San Diego Film Critics Society||Best Original Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Runner-up|
|San Francisco Film Critics Circle||Best Original Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Original Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Nominated|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||Best Original Screenplay||Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou||Nominated|
- "Lobster, The (15)". Launching Films. Film Distributors' Association. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "THE LOBSTER (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- Pritchard, Tiffany (21 December 2014). "Les Arcs celebrates diverse crop of Ireland films". Screen Daily. Screen International. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- "The Lobster (2016)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (17 May 2015). "Yorgos Lanthimos' absurdist dystopia is the best of Cannes so far". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- Hutchison, Sean (29 September 2015). "Making Sense of the Dystopian Absurdity of 'The Lobster'". Inverse. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
- Bonos, Lisa (19 May 2016). "An interview with the director of 'The Lobster,' a dark comedy about the search for love". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
- "The Lobster" (PDF). Cannes Film Festival. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 December 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- Kay, Jeremy (28 July 2015). "Toronto to open with 'Demolition'; world premieres for 'Trumbo', 'The Program'". Screen Daily. Screen International. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
- jpatlakas (13 May 2014). "Giorgos Lanthimos' Lobster reveals first pictures". Cinefreaks. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- Ramachandran, Naman (31 March 2014). "Yorgos Lanthimos commences The Lobster shoot". Cineuropa. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- Barraclough, Leo (3 February 2014). "Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz to Star in Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- O'Sullivan, Majella (25 March 2014). "Colin Farrell's arrival gets quiet village dreaming of its own 'Quiet Man'". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
- "Minister Deenihan visits set of 'Lobster' on final day of filming in Kerry". Coillte. 2 May 2014. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- Daily Mail Reporter (6 May 2014). "What a happy set! Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz share a laugh in between scenes as they film The Lobster in Dublin". The Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- Wiseman, Andreas (9 May 2014). "Sony snaps up The Lobster starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz". Screen Daily. Screen International. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- Jagernauth, Kevin (9 May 2014). "First Look: Colin Farrell, Ben Whishaw & John C. Reilly In Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster'". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- Pedersen, Erik (20 May 2015). "Alchemy Catches 'The Lobster:' – Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
- Siegel, Tatiana (16 February 2016). "The Lobster' Moves to A24 Amid Alchemy Struggles". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- IndieWire (31 December 2015). "The 17 Best Films of 2016 We've Already Seen". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- McNary, Dave (16 March 2016). "Colin Farrell-Rachel Weisz Comedy 'The Lobster' Set for May Release". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "The Lobster (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "The Lobster Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Lyttelton, Oliver (15 May 2015). "Cannes Review: Yorgos Lanthimos' Outstanding 'The Lobster' Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz & John C Reilly". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Nashawaty, Chris (12 September 2015). "The Lobster: Toronto Film Festival review". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Lodge, Guy (15 May 2015). "Cannes Film Review: 'The Lobster'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Bradshaw, Peter (15 May 2015). "The Lobster review – dark satire on relationships gets fishy near the tail-end". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Singer, Leigh (18 May 2015). "The Lobster Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- Dimock, Wai Chee (18 June 2016). "Lobster in Purgatory". Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Nordyke, Kimberly (24 January 2017). "Oscars: 'La La Land' Ties Record With 14 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- Variety Staff (24 January 2017). "Oscar Nominations: Complete List". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- Sheehan, Paul (3 January 2017). "ACE Eddie Awards 2017: Full list of nominations includes Oscar frontrunner 'La La Land'". Gold Derby. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- Anderson, Erik (15 December 2016). "Austin Film Critics Association (AFCA) Nominations: The Handmaiden Lands Top Mentions, Trevante Rhodes Double Nominated". Awards Watch. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- Miller, Neil (15 December 2016). "2016 Austin Film Critics Awards Nominees". Austin Film Critics Association. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- Belga (10 January 2016). ""Le fils de Saul", Grand Prix de l'Union de la Critique de Cinéma" (in French). RTBF. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- "Baftas 2016: full list of nominations". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "The Lobster on a roll with seven British independent film awards nominations". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Pond, Steve (6 December 2015). "'Ex Machina,' 'Room' Win Big at British Independent Film Awards". TheWrap. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Barnes, Henry (24 May 2015). "Cannes 2015: Jacques Audiard's Dheepan wins the Palme d'Or". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- Ford, Rebecca (24 May 2015). "Cannes: 'Dheepan' Wins the Palme d'Or". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- "The 2016 Chicago Film Critics Association Award Nominees". Chicago Film Critics Association. 11 December 2016. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "La La Land Leads with 12 Nominations for the 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards". Critics' Choice Awards. Broadcast Film Critics Association. 1 December 2016. Archived from the original on 3 December 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
- Tangcay, Jazz (9 January 2017). "Denver Film Critics Society Announce Nominations". Awards Daily. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
- Kilday, Gregg (12 January 2017). "'Moonlight' Leads Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics' Dorian Award Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- Ramsbottom, Max (22 December 2015). "2015 Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards Announced". Entertainment.ie. Entertainment Media Networks. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Brennan, Matt (27 October 2015). "'The Lobster,' 'Goodnight Mommy' Win European Film Awards". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Lodge, Guy (7 November 2015). "'Youth,' 'The Lobster' Lead European Film Award Nominations". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Evening Standard British Film Awards (22 December 2015). "Evening Standard British Film Awards: The longlist". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Norum, Ben (7 February 2016). "Evening Standard British Film Awards 2016: Idris Elba and Dame Maggie Smith lead list of winners". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Engelen, Aurore (21 October 2015). "Ixcanul wins the Film Fest Gent". Cineuropa. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- FFCC (21 December 2016). "'Moonlight' leads 2016 Florida Film Critics Awards Nominations". Florida Film Critics Circle. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- THR Staff (12 December 2016). "Golden Globes 2017: The Complete List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies 2016". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Greene, Steve (19 December 2016). "2016 IndieWire Critics Poll: Full List of Results". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
- "IFTA 2016 Nominees and Winners". IFTA Awards. Irish Film & Television Academy. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Lodge, Guy (15 December 2015). "'Carol,' '45 Years' and Tom Hardy Lead London Critics' Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "42nd Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards". Los Angeles Film Critics Association. 4 December 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
- Kay, Jeremy (13 March 2016). "'Dheepan' and 'Paulina' triumph in Miami". Screen Daily. Screen International. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Variety Staff (13 December 2015). "'Mad Max: Fury Road' Wins Best Picture of 2015 From Online Film Critics Society". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- "20th Annual Online Film Critics Society Awards Nominations". Online Film Critics Society. 27 December 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
- Onti, Nicky Mariam (1 February 2013). "Lanthimos Wins Rotterdam's CineMart Prize". Greek Reporter. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- "2016 San Diego Film Critics Society's Award Nominations". San Diego Film Critics Society. 9 December 2016. Archived from the original on 24 June 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "San Diego Film Critics Society's 2016 Award Winners". San Diego Film Critics Society. 12 December 2016. Archived from the original on 21 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- Flores, Marshall (9 December 2016). "San Francisco Film Critics Circle Nominations!". Awards Daily. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
- Nordyke, Kimberly (12 December 2016). "'Moonlight' Named Best Picture by San Francisco Film Critics Circle". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- Kilday, Gregg (29 November 2016). "Satellite Awards Nominees Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- Gordon, Tim (5 December 2016). "The 2016 WAFCA Awards". Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Lobster|