According to Lanthimos’ interview with ThePlaylist, the film will tell the story of “a group of people who agree to stand in for the lost loved ones of others, replicating their behavior and gestures, ostensibly to help with grieving.” Adds the director, “It’s mainly about death and substitution in a way. If you can substitute people that have died with other people and how difficult that can be. It involves the stories of many people, and I guess it has similarities with ‘Dogtooth’ in its tone, because it’s quite dark as well, but is also funny and violent. It’s contradictory, like ‘Dogtooth’ is.”
Marina, a twenty-three year-old girl, lives with her architect father in a prototype factory town by the sea. Finding the human species strange and repellent, she keeps her distance. Instead she stubbornly observes it through songs of suicide, the mammal documentaries of Sir David Attenborough and the sex education lessons she receives from her only friend, Bella. A stranger comes to town and challenges her to a table football duel, on her own table. Meanwhile, her father ritualistically prepares for his exit from the 20th century, which he considers to be “overrated.” Caught between the two men and her collaborator Bella, Marina investigates the wondrous mystery of human fauna. [Synopsis courtesy of VIFF]
Alice is a sailor. While her partner Félix waits for her on land, she sets off as second mechanic on the Fidelio, an old freighter. On board, she discovers not only that her predecessor has just died, but also that the skipper is none other than the first great love of her life. Alice finds a notebook in her cabin, apparently that of the former mechanic, and on reading its contents – accounts of mechanical problems, sexual conquests and lovelorn emotions – finds, oddly, that they mirror her own concerns. As they make stops at various ports, dealing with life aboard alongside an all-male crew and the swell and pitch of her romantic feelings, the young woman tries to stay on course.
A love story set in the near future where single people, according to the rules of The City, are arrested and transferred to The Hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into The Woods. A desperate Man escapes from The Hotel to The Woods where The Loners live and falls in love, although it is against their rules. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]