Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ fantastic dark comedy The Lobster has reserved its spot in movie theaters for May 13 — almost exactly one year after the film premiered to raves at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
The movie, which won the Jury Prize at Cannes, is set in a near-future world where single people are required to find partners to marry or else be turned into animals. Colin Farrell stars as a pudgy, divorced man who at the beginning of the story arrives at the Hotel, where he’s given 45 days to find a romantic mate. Accompanying him is a dog, who also happens to be his brother. Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, Olivia Colman, and John C. Reilly costar in the film.
After seeing The Lobster at the Toronto Film Festival, EW’s Chris Nashawaty wrote, “This premise sounds like a surreal, preposterous arthouse rabbit hole. It’s so bonkers that it shouldn’t work, but it does. Brilliantly. It’s like Kafka written by the young Woody Allen, but utterly original… The Lobster is the kind of unexpected and unexpectedly moving revelation that film festivals exist to share with the world. It opens your eyes to a new way of storytelling. It’s a love story unlike any I’ve ever seen.”
The film has already opened in many countries around the world, including England and Spain, and was originally scheduled to be released on March 11. The upstart distribution company Alchemy picked up The Lobster during last year’s Cannes Film Festival, but just 10 days before the movie’s U.S. release, A24 took over as the distributor. Founded in 2012, A24 is on quite a streak, having just won three trophies at this year’s Academy Awards, for Best Actress (Brie Larson, Room), Best Visual Effects (Ex Machina), and Best Documentary (Amy). Room producer Ed Guiney is also a producer on The Lobster.
Lanthimos has directed five features, and his twisted drama of a shut-in family, Dogtooth, was an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010. The Lobster is Lanthimos’ first English-language film — and though it might not be for everyone, certain American audiences are bound to go cuckoo for the film. As opposed to turning into one.