Georgia Dack



Georgia is the website entertainment editor and is also an English literature and Film student; she (unsurprisingly) enjoys & likes to write about cinema, tv shows, books, music, and culture.

A true Greek tragedy.

In one sentence, this is the only way that I could describe The Killing of a Sacred Deer. The new thriller by Yorgos Lanthimos, starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, is certainly a film that will be spoken about all year long, yet it will leave you speechless after the screening.

The film takes place in a contemporary US city where a well-off cardiologist, Steven (Colin Farrell), lives with his beautiful wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) and their two kids. They have a huge house, they are both respected medical doctors, their kids are talented and healthy… what possibly could go wrong? Well, there’s this kid, Martin (Barry Keoghan) that our main character keeps meeting up with. Steven kind of keeps their relationship a secret from his colleagues, but then again he introduces him to his family. The kid is not related to him; he is not his potential lover or his drug dealer, but he has a large role to play, and will force Steven to make an extremely difficult choice.

This movie is beautiful. Truly. Every single aspect of this film deserves at least an Oscar. The cinematography by Thimios Bakatakis is stunning. It is so aesthetically pleasing, yet creates unease in every frame; he makes excellent use of space to express the helplessness and desperation of the characters, as well as capturing beautiful close ups of characters’ faces, which feel like they should give away some information about their thoughts and feelings but instead just make you more anxious.

It is not only the visuals which make his film so beautiful; Lanthimos and his regular co-writer Efthymis Filippou make this thriller a masterpiece in terms of dialogue and timing. One of the most beautiful things about this film is the use of silence. The pauses between lines make every conversation somewhat realistic in their awkwardness and even funny at first, yet in the second half of the movie every single line builds to a crescendo in the emotional roller-coaster that the characters and audience experience. The combination of this, the length of the takes, the pauses and sudden gloomy music create tension long before the action does; you know that there is something going on but you do not have the visuals or context to suspect exactly what that is. Colin Farrell gives an excellent performance with his initially cold and conservative portrayal, which makes it hard to read his character, but later on this becomes an uncontrollable volcano of emotions. The screenplay, cinematography, sound and incredible performances keep the spectators on their toes throughout the film.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is much heavier than Lanthimos’ other films, and for those that are not familiar with Lanthimos’ earlier works, I recommend The Lobster, because his style initially might be a bit off-putting. Although, if you are squeamish, maybe its not the best movie for you, although I am, and I managed.

What makes this movie so great is that contrast between the looks, the cinematography, the light, the beautiful interiors, those sad blue eyes and the inexplicable things that happen to Steven’s family. I believe that watching this movie is the closest thing to catharsis one could experience. It makes you uncomfortable, empty inside and exhausted yet somewhat free and light. It is truly sublime.