Element Pictures is delighted to announce that Yorgos Lanthimos’ THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER premiered to rave reviews following its world premiere in competition in Cannes last night, where it received a ten minute standing ovation.

Industry bible, The Hollywood Reporter commented “the impressive rigor of its craft, the skillfully subdued intensity of the acting, and the startling originality of the story will make it unmissable for anyone who cares about bold filmmaking” concluding that “the Greek director here further cements his position among the world’s most interesting contemporary filmmakers, stoking anticipation for his next English-language feature, THE FAVOURITE”

Variety noted that “as allegories of extreme discomfort go, this one is masterfully orchestrated” and praised Farrell and Kidman as being “astonishingly gifted at playing the subtext of every scene”

The film received 4 stars from The Guardian who noted that “Lanthimos is brilliant at summoning up a whole created world and immersing us in it” Screen Daily went on to call THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER “a powerful and unsettling film that significantly broadens the repertoire of one of Europe’s most singular and wayward auteurs” While The Telegraph described the film as “a wildly uncomfortable, venomously funny Greek tragedy”

Both The Evening Standard and The Irish Times awarded THE KILLING OF A SCARED DEER 5 stars with The Irish Times describing Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan’s performance as “exceptional” and the film as “unmissable”

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER was produced by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe’s Element Pictures (THE LOBSTER, ROOM, A DATE FOR MAD MARY). Lanthimos and his regular collaborator, Efthymis Filippou, co-wrote the project, which was shot last Autumn in Cincinnati, Ohio.

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER sees Colin Farrell reunite with Lanthimos. Farrell stars as Steven, a charismatic surgeon forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart when the behaviour of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing takes a sinister turn. Nicole Kidman also stars as the wife of Farrell’s character, along with young, Irish actor Barry Keoghan (’71 and DUNKIRK), Raffey Cassidy (TOMORROWLAND), Sunny Suljic (THE UNSPOKEN), Bill Camp (12 YEARS A SLAVE) and Alicia Silverstone (CLUELESS).

Producer Ed Guiney said “We are bowled over by the reaction in Cannes. Yorgos has made a masterful, challenging and unforgettable piece of cinema which we hope will go on to enthrall audiences around the world following its premiere here in Cannes.”

The film is financed by Film4 and New Sparta Films along with the Irish Film Board. The project was developed by Element Pictures with support from Film4. HanWay Films is worldwide sales agent with A24 on board as US distributor following its successful release of THE LOBSTER last year.

THE LOBSTER won the Jury Prize in Cannes in 2015 and was recently nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay. DOGTOOTH, another of Lanthimos’ projects, won Cannes’ Prix Un Certain Regard in 2009, later receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

This is Element’s seventh production or co-production in Official Selection at Cannes in recent years. Lanthimos’ THE LOBSTER took home the Cannes Jury Prize in 2015, Ken Loach’s JIMMY’S HALL screened in competition in 2014 as did Paolo Sorrentino’s THIS MUST BE THE PLACE in 2011. Alicia Duffy’s ALL GOOD CHILDREN was selected for the Director’s Fortnight section of the festival in 2010 and in 2007 Lenny Abrahamson’s GARAGE won the CICAE Prize. In 2006 Ken Loach’s THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY won the Palme d’Or.