Frank & Lola was screened as part of the NY Film Critics Series. The film is described as a psychosexual noir love story.
Michael Shannon (Frank) and Imogen Poots (Lola) star in the film as a couple who fall in love, but their relationship begins to take a turn as secrets are exposed from Lola’s past. Frank is a chef and Lola is an up and coming fashion designer. Both are trying to be successful in their career while they are trying to build a relationship with each other.
Lola meets Keith (Justin Long), at a bar and after she tells him she is a designer it leads to a job offer from his company. Keith is wealthy and well-connected. Due to his connections it leads to an opportunity for Frank to become the chef of a new Las Vegas restaurant. From the moment Lola meets Keith, Frank’s jealousy shines bright on-screen. Even though their relationship is platonic, he still questions Keith’s intentions.
After Lola cheats with Alan (Michael Nyqvist), she confesses to Frank. She had an unfortunate encounter with Alan in her past while spending time in France which caused damage. As Frank makes his way to Paris for a job opportunity he decides to pay Alan a visit. What starts as a confrontation ends as a secret of lies exposed leading Frank to believe he doesn’t know who Lola truly is.
The film shows the intense relationship between Frank and Lola from a couple in love to a man and woman surrounded by obsession, betrayal and revenge.
Following the film was a discussion about the film and an audience Q and A with the film’s writer/ director Matthew Ross hosted by NYFCS producer, Mark Ehrenkranz.
Matthew explained that it took him 8 years to get this film into production. Several things inspired him to make the film. One of the main inspirations was that someone he knew had gone through a similar experience to Lola. She had been victimized while dating someone in Paris and she didn’t leave. Matthew saw the damage that it did to her and thought it was very powerful.
When it came to casting, Imogen was casted in the role of Lola because she seemed very unexpected for the part. She seemed so innocent that it wouldn’t be expected what that she ends up doing. When speaking about Michael, Matthew said, “To have Michael Shannon star in your first film is a blessing.” He felt very lucky to have him.
When the discussion was turned to the audience, there was a great response on how they felt about the film. One of the interesting questions from the audience led to Matthew explaining how when he first wrote the script, he wrote the role of Claire for an older Emmanuelle Davos, since it took 8 years to film the movie, the timing worked well as Matthew was able to get Emmanuelle involved with the film. It was the first film she did in English and partial nudity, Matthew said, “She trusted me.”
When speaking about the ending, Matthew said he cared a lot about the characters and wants them to be happy.
To learn more about the NY Film Critics Series head here!