In Lanthimos’ fabulous film (Jury prize Cannes, two European Film Awards), singles hidden away at a hotel in the woods get a month to find a new partner. If they don’t manage it, they’ll change into an animal of their choice. Colin Farrell has been perfectly cast as the semi-tortured David who abides entirely by the hotel’s strange rules. In his first English-dialogue film, the Greek Lanthimos once again creates a cruel, strange, yet familiar world with its own logic that everyone accepts. He makes the audience think about which subconscious rules actually condition their lives and how we are enslaved by peer pressure. In the walled world of the hotel, the characters live isolated lives with their own rules and secrets. Here, sexual favours are covertly, mechanically handed out. It’s also where violence breaks out suddenly. On these islands everyone is playing a game. Play-acting has become a survival mechanism in this dangerous microcosm.