Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes this year, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster is a surreal parable set in a dystopian near-future society where being single is a crime.

In the world Lanthimos and co-writer Efthymis Filippou have conjured up, the law is enforced with perverse rigour, as Colin Farrell’s listless divorcee discovers when he is shipped off to The Hotel, whose singleton residents have 45 days in which to find a compatible mate.

Fail and you are transformed into an animal of your choosing (Farrell’s is the eponymous crustacean) and released into The Woods. These are the haunt of The Loners, whose steely leader (Blue is the Warmest Colour ’s Lea Seydoux), counterpart of the hotel’s bossy manager (Olivia Colman), dictates a different set of ruthlessly imposed rules.

Shot in Ireland with a multi-national cast, Lanthimos’s first English-language film combines mischievous satire with the perverse logic of dreams to create a compellingly bizarre, decidedly off-kilter comedy.

The Lobster screens at 6.15pm tonight at the Ritzy Cinema, Brixton, and goes on general release tomorrow, Friday 16th October.