A teenager's attempts to bring a brilliant surgeon into his dysfunctional family take an unexpected turn.
- The Killing of a Sacred Deer
My immediate response as soon as this finished was "MASTERPIECE." Lanthimos is back to _Dogtooth_-level craziness with this film and I couldn't be happier. _The Lobster_ was a favourite of mine in 2016, but something about this one's hopelessness drew me in more - odd, I know. Lanthimos' films have characters stuck in dead end situations where they are able to make a choice, but the results of the options are bad and worse. It's a dour story and the film is relentlessly unsettling, but this is what I've come to expect and want out of this Greek maestro. Sacred Deer is a suburban Greek tragedy that draws inspiration from Euripides’ _Iphigenia in Aulis_ - a character even mentions this title in a key scene - and it plays out both as you'd imagine and with great shock and originality. Lanthimos and his writing partner Efthymis Filippou may just be my favourite writing team working today - they haven't let me down yet. The cast is spectacular here with Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell in top form bringing the odd words of Lanthimos and Filippou to life - albeit a very, very strange life. Farrell, having worked with Lanthimos on The Lobster, had nothing but high praise for the director during tonight's Q&A after the screening of the film. He even said they were planning another project to work on together. He's slowly becoming a muse and their relationship is turning into a DiCaprio-Scorsese type partnership (except I look forward to these way, way more). The audience I was in had a hard time with this film - there was audible shock and disgust during the film and the applause as it ended was slight. I think people were genuinely scandalized by this one and that makes me like it even more. Keep shocking audiences, Lanthimos, you Greek bastard. I'll be in line every single time!
I am a big fan of some of Yorgos Lanthimos' earlier work, so _The Killing of a Sacred Deer_, which I had been told in no uncertain terms would be a straight up horror movie, was well and truly on the agenda for 2017. Unfortunately, I found that not only was _Sacred Deer_ not at all a horror, but more importantly that it lacked the dark whimsy of something truly odd, like the director's previous film, _Lobster_. Instead it opts for an outright uncomfortable tone. The world is real, boringly so, and it is only the characters who seem unbelievable. Which is a 180 on the sort of absurdism I usually gravitate towards. That said, _Sacred Deer_ still contains some beautiful cinematography, and a couple of the most genuine laugh-out-loud moments I've seen in a movie all year. _Final rating:★★½ - Had a lot that appealed to me, didn’t quite work as a whole._