Screened as part of NZIFF 2015

The Lobster 2015

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) casts Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly and Léa Seydoux in a surreal English-language fable set in a world where singles are forced to couple up or be turned into animals.

Greece / Ireland / UK In English
118 minutes DCP



Ed Guiney
Lee Magiday
Ceci Dempsey
Yorgos Lanthimos


Yorgos Lanthimos
Efthimis Filippou


Thimios Bakatakis


Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Production designer

Jacqueline Abrahams

Costume designer

Sarah Blenkinsop


Colin Farrell (David)
Rachel Weisz (short sighted woman)
Jessica Barden (nosebleed woman)
Olivia Colman (hotel manager)
Ashley Jensen (biscuit woman)
Ariane Labed (the maid)
Angeliki Papoulia (heartless woman)
John C. Reilly (lisping man)
Léa Seydoux (loner leader)
Michael Smiley (loner swimmer)
Ben Whishaw (limping man)


Jury Prize
Cannes Film Festival 2015


Cannes (In Competition) 2015


Presented in association with


In the world of Yorgos Lanthimos’ wily jet black satire of socially enforced coupledom, single adults are required to find a partner within 45 days or be transformed into the animals of their choice. Studding his supremely deadpan creation with gags that may have you gaping in disbelief, the director of Dogtooth proves as savage and adroit a surrealist in English as in his native Greek.

“David (a paunchy Colin Farrell) picks the lobster, because they live long and he likes the sea. Left by his wife of 11 years, David is taken to a hotel compound where the non-attached – played by Ben Whishaw, John C. Reilly, Ashley Jensen, and Jessica Barden, among others – can form couples or earn extensions by hunting down Loners, renegade singles who hide in the woods. With him, he brings Bob, a border collie who used to be his brother.

As in his breakthrough feature, Dogtooth, Lanthimos continually introduces new bizarre rules, rituals, and punishments… It’s a funny, unsettling, occasionally gruesome riff on the way a society can prioritize long-term relationships while codifying them into meaningless gesture… He also keeps expanding the scope, from the hotel to the woodland world of the Loners – who wear unflattering ponchos and ‘only listen to electronic music’ – and then to a nearby city, where patrolling police officers badger unaccompanied adults for proof of couplehood. As the shocks and surreal-satirical conceits pile on, they accumulate meaning, leading to a semi-ambiguous finale that questions whether it’s even possible for two people to be in love on terms other than the ones their culture has laid out for them. There’s comedy that’s weird for its own sake, and then there’s this.” — Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club