It’s hard to imagine a more purposely uptight and knowingly gunshy film synopsis than the ones bestowed on Yorgos Lanthimos’ deeply original oeuvre of films.
His “Dogtooth” was about “three teenagers [who] live isolated, without leaving their house, because their over-protective parents say they can only leave when their dogtooth falls out.” Later, his 2015 arthouse hit “The Lobster” concerned “a dystopian society, [where] single people must find a mate within 45 days or be transformed into an animal of their choice.”
Now, his next offering, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” into the so-called genre of Greek Weird Wave continues the trend. Per the film’s official synopsis, “Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behaviour of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.”
Farrell is playing the surgeon, while Nicole Kidman plays his wife and Alicia Silverstone is on board as the young boy’s mother. The cast also includes Raffey Cassidy, Bill Camp, Barry Keoghan and Sunny Suljic.
But as the film’s first trailer (and, honestly, all of Lanthimos’ filmography so far) lets on, this isn’t just another drama about people thrown together in the midst of a terrible tragedy. It’s going to be characteristically funny, weird, off-kilter, and oddly revelatory. Also, prepare yourself for the most unsettling use of an Ellie Goulding song like, ever. Burn indeed.
Lanthimos is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with Efthymis Filippou, who has penned the Greek director’s last three feature films, including the 2011 Academy Award Best Foreign-Language nominee “Dogtooth” and “The Lobster.”
“The Killing of a Sacred Deer” was shot last summer in Cincinnati and debuted at Cannes earlier this year, where it bowed in Competition. Check out the first trailer for the film below.