A Week Prior to Release, A24 Delays ‘The Lobster’
Today, a small development that may have major ramifications down the line: Deadline reports that yesterday, fledgling film distributor A24 quietly struck the March 11 release date of The Lobster from their schedule, with plans to announce a new release date ‘shortly.’ (A24 recently took over distribution of the film from another company, Alchemy.) The Deadline item also takes care to note that the relatively young distribution outfit waltzed away from the Oscars on Sunday night with three key wins — Ex Machina picked up the Best Visual Effects prize, the Amy Winehouse chronicle Amy snagged the Best Documentary award, and their adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel Room earned Brie Larson the Best Actress Oscar. Though we’ll find out shortly, it smells a bit like A24 may be considering a release later in the year, to pose The Lobster as a possible awards contender.
Which would constitute a seriously bold move from the hotshot boutique distributor. Selling American audiences as well as Academy voters on The Lobster won’t be easy. I had the good fortune of catching the film back in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, and while it’s a wickedly funny mix of black comedy and thorny romanticism, surely one of the year’s best, it ain’t for everybody. The English-language debut of Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos, the film laughs blithely at cruelty and misery, and demands that the recognizable A-listers in the cast (Colin Farrell, John C. Reilly, Rachel Weisz, and Ben Whishaw to name a few) perform with a stilted, affectless tone that could easily alienate audiences. It’d do my heart good to see A24 throw their support behind this brilliant film, and doubly so to see the Academy embrace something a little outside the box, but it’ll be a hard-won battle if at all. But really, more than anything, I just want to know when I’ll be able to see this thing again. There’s this scene with a toaster — I don’t want to ruin it for you. You have to see it for yourself.