ŠElement Pictures, A24, Film4

The Killing of a Sacred Deer
U.K./Ireland 2017

Opening 28 Dec 2017

Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos
Writing credits: Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Principal actors: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan

Clinical and cold, that’s how The Killing of a Sacred Deer opens. Schubert’s “Jesus Christus” attempts to soothe the moviegoer’s reluctance to watch a heart, pumping away during open heart surgery. Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) is one cool doctor, detached, and master of his own and his patients’ destinies. He and his glamorous, but frosty ophthalmologist wife Anna (Nicole Kidman)have a bizarre lovemaking ritual dubbed “general anesthetic”; perhaps it is symptomatic of their medical professions. Steven and Anna live with their two children Kim and Bob in a perfect, sterile world, insulated from all hardship and from all emotion. This gradually changes as sixteen-year-old Martin (Barry Keoghan), a boy Steven has taken under his wing, plays an ever more important role in their lives. It’s a home invasion of sorts, the voodoo variety. Director Yórgos Lánthimos has taken the film’s title from the Greek myth about Princess Iphigenia, a Greek tragedy about the human sacrifice demanded by the Goddess Artemis. Although much of this film takes place in a hospital and features a cardiac surgeon, it is definitely not for the faint of heart. (Pat Frickey)

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