|Scene from The Killing of a Sacred Deer|
Among the greatest film of 2017 was Giorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster. It was a movie that took a perverse look at love and found its way to a surprise box office success and Oscar nomination. How does one follow up that success? The Killing of a Sacred Deer is another movie shrouded in prestige and promise, teaming up with several familiar faces from his previous film. Having been nominated for the Plame d'Or at Cannes, it is one of those films that must be watched out for. To say the least, the first trailer has arrived, and it's rather unnerving as it features one of the most haunting covers of a pop song from any trailer this year. Also, it asks a lot of questions (such as "What's going on?") while answering others (such as "Why you should go see it.") It looks incredible, and may continue Lanthimos' hot streak.
In recent years, there have been few filmmakers as exciting in the realm of world cinema quite like Lanthimos. Going back to his Oscar-nominated film Dogtooth, he has proven to be one of the most fascinating and meticulous voices, even getting actor John C. Reilley to once call him the modern Stanley Kubrick on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast. He may still be a bit obscure for American tastes, but his dark comedy definitely hit a peak with The Lobster. It's a film that I personally love and may consider to be his absolute best - and not just because I'm familiar with more of the cast than Dogtooth or Alps (an underrated but very challenging film tonally). Still, there's something about his mentality that suggests that he understands the world better than American filmmakers do, which makes each of his films all the more exciting.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer has gotten a decent amount of buzz after it premiered at Cannes. I am psyched to know that his English-language endeavors continue to inspire hope for his career. Among the team from The Lobster that he is teaming up with again is Colin Farrell, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for his previous work. Considering that I would argue it's among his career best work, it makes the promise of more collaborations all the more exciting. Considering that Nicole Kidman is also having quite a year with the amazing The Beguiled, Big Little Lies, and the upcoming Top of the Lake season; this may be yet another jewel in her 2017 crown. Maybe it will lead to another Oscar nomination. Who knows. Lanthimos has a track record now for at least being recognized.
Check out the trailer below:
It looks incredible. Here's the plot description according to IMDb:
A teenager's attempts to bring a brilliant surgeon into his dysfunctional family take an unexpected turn.
In some ways, that trailer spoils the vague plot description on here. However, there's more mysteries around the corner for sure. One has to wonder why Farrell is trying to avoid blame. Why are people arguing? Why are bodies being dragged everywhere. If nothing else, it's a bit unnerving as a trailer, and the Ellie Golding cover more than adds nuance to the work. I love the intensity that it gives off in its unassuming beauty and cold scenery. This film may be a bit more of a challenge to sell than The Lobster, but I imagine that Lanthimos' previous successes will at least help get the film out there to play in theaters that he probably wouldn't have been in only a few years ago.
I am definitely excited by anything that he does. While it has been an uneven week for new trailers, producing disappointing starts for higher profile films like The Meyerowitz Stories and Molly's Game, it does look like this may be one to look out for. Considering that A24 has other things on their mind to dominate awards season, I wouldn't leave this film out of the conversation. It may not have the odds of something like The Disaster Artist, but it definitely has a chance at joining the class of 2017 that continues to solidify A24 as the indie company who upset Oscar royalty in major ways. Even if that's not the case, more Lanthimos is greatly appreciated, and I cannot wait to see this.