♦Tripwire’s editor-in-chief JOEL MEADOWS takes a look at new drama Frank and Lola starring Michael Shannon…
Frank & Lola
Director: Matthew Ross
Stars: Michael Shannon, Imogen Poots
Frank & Lola is a drama starring Michael Shannon as chef Frank and Imogen Poots as his girlfriend Lola, who seems to hide a shocking secret about her past. Lola meets Frank at the restaurant that he cooks at and they begin a torrid love affair that from the start looks doomed. Frank gets to go to Paris to try out for the head chef on a very upmarket new restaurant but he has an ulterior motive. Lola has accused her mother’s boyfriend of raping her years ago and he seeks answers as to whether there is any truth is what Lola claims.
Pluses here are Michael Shannon’s performance, which is perhaps even more intense than usual, and it is his presence that lifts it above a perfunctory indie drama film. Poots is decent as the possibly unhinged Lola and there are strong cameos from Roseanna Arquette as Lola’s mother and Michael Nyqvist as the man Lola has accused of rape, Alan, who may not be what he initially appears to be.
One of the negative points here is that the world of cuisine really isn’t that interesting and it doesn’t lend itself well to high drama. First-time director Ross tries to invest the scenes related to food with some sort of tension but they just don’t really engage the viewer. Frank & Lola is a solid modern drama lifted by the presence of Shannon, who is always good value, but there isn’t much else to it. It is heartening to see a low-budget indie film these days especially when the cinemas are dominated by superheroes but there is something lacking here. It’s not a bad film by any means but it doesn’t really add up to much.
Frank & Lola is out now on Google Play, YouTube and other on-demand outlets.