The Killing of a Sacred Deer

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Yorgos Lanthimos's morality play uses the myth of Iphigenia—who was sacrificed by her father to appease the gods—as a springboard, but it's the mythology of cinema that Lanthimos is intent on exploding as he uses sterile, slow, almost Kubrickian imagery to interrogate the story. What's happening onscreen isn't important. What's going on beneath the surface is. The lives of husband-and-wife doctors Steven (Colin Farrell) and Anna (Nicole Kidman) are all surfaces. Other than some doctor-patient sex play in the bedroom, the only thing that suggests anything other than tranquil domesticity is Steven’s unconventional relationship with a teenage boy, the nature of which is deliberately ambiguous at the film’s start but becomes painfully defined as it unfolds. Sacred Deer is, in the moment, an unpleasant experience. But as the director is careful to announce early on, this is not a film about what you see—it’s about what you realize hours, maybe days, after you’ve left the theater. Lanthimos gets under your skin and stays there. by Ned Lannamann
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Credits
Director
Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast
Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Barry Keoghan

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