Frank And Lola

Frank and Lola are a newish, happy couple. He’s older, takes care of her. They’re lovey-dovey, meeting parents and wondering about saying I love you. Until.

Until something prompts Lola (Imogen Poots) to confess that she was raped by her mother’s ex-boyfriend not long before meeting him. Frank (Michael Shannon) is already feeling jealous, and now he’s got this black stain to focus on. If only he could have protected her – would things be different between them? Better?

frank-and-lola-michael-shannon-02Then Lola’s new boss (Justin Long) drops an opportunity in his lap: an interview in Paris, which is conveniently where rapey ex-boyfriend (Michael Nyquist) lives. Two birds, one stone? The movie is billed as a “psychosexual noir love story” but all you had to tell me is “Michael Shannon.” That man makes some damn interesting choices and I’ll always go along for the ride.

The film has obvious themes of love, obsession, sex, betrayal, revenge: all the ingredients for a psychosexual noir love story, I suppose. Tonally, it’s very dark. Shannon is so gravelly, so good at pained expressions, allows us to wear Frank’s obsession like a second skin so that it feels dirty and urgently real. He brings intensity and suspense to a movie that is otherwise only second-rate. Writer-director Matthew M. Ross has something to say about the male psyche, but perhaps lacks the maturity to give Frank the inner life that would truly express it. He does, however, have an eye for the seediness of life, and the depravity of people. But with each twist in the plot, the emotional investment is diluted.

Setting the film in both Paris and Vegas gives an authentic flavour to the proceedings. Vegas lends itself to broken characters and a certain loneliness amid busy-ness. Watching Frank And Lola is an exercise in lie-detecting: do you think you’ll pass?


11 thoughts on “Frank And Lola

  1. Sean

    Michael Shannon is always worth watching. Except possibly in Salt and Fire, but even then I enjoyed seeing him run with what he was given (which was not much).


  2. mikeladano

    I’m not really into the psychosexual thing, but I’ve yet to see a Michael Shannon movie that he wasn’t at least brilliant in. As far as I’m concerned I would see it on that merit.


  3. calensariel

    I think I must be brain dead… I’ve never heard of this and I have no clue who Michael Shannon is. I must need to be educated! (Well, I do live in Utah. And just because you might see some great stuff at Sundance doesn’t mean the rest of Utah gets to see the good stuff. Not that this was a Sundance film. but you get my drift. I hope. This is the backwater of the movie business where companies actually take bad words out of movies and put something in its place, get sued, and do it all over again! For home viewing, of course. rolls eyes…)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s