“Frank & Lola” (2016) starring Michael Shannon & Imogen Poots

A psychosexual noir love story, set in Las Vegas and Paris, about love, obsession, sex, betrayal, revenge and, ultimately, the search for redemption. -Synopsis

Frank (Michael Shannon- in his 1st romantic leading role) works as a chef in a classy/high-end restaurant in Vegas. One night, he meets a young student who wants a career in fashion, Lola (Imogen Poots- a petite/blonde British actress). Frank’s (calm/routine) life is changed by Lola, who may NOT be as uncomplicated as she seems! I saw Shannon (6’3″ w/ large/wide-set eyes) a few yrs. ago in the indie drama 99 Homes (starring Andrew Garfield); I was impressed b/c he had such a commanding screen presence. In they stylish Nocturnal Animals, he made a fine impression as a small-town cop. Shannon is the lead in Midnight Special co-starring Adam Driver (my current fave actor). To add some (needed) lightness/comedy to the story, we have Justin Long. Rosanna Arquette has a small role as Lola’s mother. Michael Nyquist (a famed Swedish actor/fluent French speaker) has an important supporting role; he passed away in 2017. Writer/director Matthew Ross had been trying to make this film for 10 yrs prior to its release in 2016- wow! It was shot in less than one month on location in Vegas and Paris. The film was well-received at Sundance.

Beware, my Lord, of jealousy, it is the green-eyed monster that doth mock the meat it feeds on. -Iago in Othello

I was reminded of the (above) line from my fave Shakespearean tragedy while watching this movie. Like Othello and Desdemona, Frank and Lola are opposites when it comes to age, looks, and personalities. Frank is of a different generation than Lola. They don’t know much about each other before they become involved; Lola is new in town and Frank (w/ a no-nonsense attitude) says he doesn’t fall in love easily. Lola says she was attracted to Frank b/c he’s a “real man.” We realize that Frank has insecurities when it comes to romance, though he is V experienced/confident in his career.

The look (visual style) sometimes reminded me of the movies of director Michael Mann. I liked how the filmmakers shot the Vegas and Paris scenes quite differently. Most of the movie was filmed at night; Vegas is depicted as modern, steely, and cold (isolating). We see some daytime in Paris; the look is softer and warmer (more inviting). Shannon speaks some French, too. If you’re a fan of the noir genre (like me), you may like this movie. As one viewer noted: “rarely do contemporary movies go as deep into the male psyche of obsession as this one.” You can watch it on Netflix.


2 thoughts on ““Frank & Lola” (2016) starring Michael Shannon & Imogen Poots

    • I got interested in his work after seeing his interview (w/ Adam); I posted it before also. They seem to have stuff in common when it comes to personality.


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