A chef courting a younger woman isn’t a traditional starting point for film noir, but that unconventional approach is precisely what critics praised about Frank & Lola when it premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. In fact, calling the film a straight noir is a misnomer. It’s being advertised as a ‘psychosexual noir love story’, and since that seems like a lot of juicy descriptors, let’s hope it truly hits all those beats.
The movie is the feature debut of writer/director Matthew Ross, who previously made several successful shorts while balancing prominent work in film journalism. The confidence to make such a varied first piece likely stems from that background, and the film knowledge he brought to the table can be seen in the movie’s press notes (which can be found here).
Even with a slew of positive reviews and places on several ‘best of fest’ lists at Sundance, the main draw for Frank & Lola will likely be star Michael Shannon, whose reputation is built on years of excellent work. There’s a certain subset of film fans who will turn out for anything the man does, but considering the role demands his trademark unnerving intensity, it should appeal to anyone who enjoyed him in films like 99 Homes, The Iceman, and Take Shelter.
So whether you’re looking for dark genre fun, a promising filmmaker to watch, or more Michael Shannon goodness, Frank & Lola looks like an indie you should seek out.
Frank & Lola is directed by Matthew Ross and stars Michael Shannon, Imogen Poots, and Justin Long. It will be released in the U.S. on December 9th, 2016. Further release dates are not currently known.
Do you think Frank & Lola will live up to its Sundance buzz? Let us know in the comments!
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