Sorry that this is turning into the year I keep talking about pAcing in movies, but after working in post production for a couple years it seems the first department I address to fix fumbles is in the edit. So, listen, I started with an apology because I loved a lot of this, completely LOSING IT for much of the runtime, and I just feel like I could have lost it top to bottom had a post hoc script doc been sitting in the edit bay with a 90 minute mind and a wild eye. This needs to drop about half an hour, almost but no not entirely in the latter third. Keep all the components, but pile them on quicker and I bet this movie would feel more like one sequentially developing thought than a meander through them.
That said—holy shit. Holy shit, The Lobster. I do not know when I’ve last seen a more excitingly nouveau partnership between director vision and actor skill. Just a leapingly talented group here, a bunch of weird gazelles bounding around half in this world half somewhere else. I am [holds up defining hand] obsessed with the outlandish way people deliver their lines in this. This straight ahead, staccato clear, like-monotone-but-not-monotone affect that they express around and through, somehow? Delicious, I could eat this all day. I love black comic absurdity with beautiful coloring, I love it. The staging, the gorgeous compositions, the choices, the brutality…god this gang is fearless, a deadpan pendulum swinging between attractive and repulsive. It took me two tries to actually watch the last minute of this! I had to work up to it!
Anyway. Yes. Yes to the (sur)realism of watching characters who seem like a bunch of lost alien children scrambling around in the woods dressed up in suits and dresses they found in a dumpster behind a Macy’s because that sure feels like the Adult Experience. Yes to wry studies on societal obsession with partnering, and also how we try to match our brokenness, and what is compatibility, and what is arbitrary, and what does it matter. Yes to riotous gruesome whimsical movies by art ho-teurs, with structural problems.