The new movie Frank & Lola tells an unusual and seemingly disturbing love story. Frank is played by Michael Shannon and is a Las Vegas chef. One day he meets Lola (Imogen Poots), a young woman who’s pretty new to the city and who seems to be escaping her past. The two begin a relationship and feelings intensify, but trouble is looming for them.
Lola has been on the run from some bad situations but parts of her past begin to resurface in Vegas. That makes Frank very jealous and protective as he becomes more and more obsessed not just with keeping her safe but also taking out any potential threats. While the couple has made peace with where they are themselves, Frank has fallen into a world of underground sex clubs and other criminal behavior that he can’t pull out of.
The movie’s one poster is pretty simple. It’s basically a glorified version of the first publicity still that was released, with Shannon and Poots sitting across a table from each other. “Love. Obsession. Betrayal. Revenge.” is the copy on the one-sheet alongside the movie’s Sundance credentials and a couple of positive quotes from early screenings.
The trailer is at times sweet or disturbing. Frank and Lola have met and quickly fall in love, him taking on the role of her protector. But things take a turn as mysterious characters from her past reemerge, bringing to light some of her past actions that don’t mesh well with his slightly obsessive and selfish personality. There are bad people she’s trying to protect him from and he gets involved in a dark world of sexual acts as he tries to figure out a way to move forward.
Let’s just put aside the age difference between the leads, shall we? This looks dark and gritty as a character study of two people who want to be in love but either can’t overlook the past or can’t escape from its pull. Shannon and Poots both look like they give solid, emotional performances, though the subject matter is certainly for adults only.
Online and Social
The official website is pretty simple affair. A still from the movie is the primary feature on the front page along with the primary credits featuring the names of those involved.
Click on the “Press Notes” and you open up a PDF with plot descriptions, background on the story and so on. That also shows the site is hosted on Squarespace, which is the first time I’ve seen that.
“Reviews” has a handful of quotes from early reviews and other press coverage. “Stills” has a couple of production pictures as well as some other behind-the-scenes shots. There are a couple videos in the “Trailers & Clips” section.
The site finishes off with “Links” to the Wikipedia, IMDb and other sites for the cast and crew. And then there’s the Tumblr “Blog” that has a handful of updates with links to marketing materials and news stories. There’s no link to it but there’s also a Facebook page that has many of the same updates.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
There’s been nothing that I can find in this category.
Media and Publicity
The movie debuted at the Sundance Film Festival but didn’t make much of an impression. It was picked up rather quickly by Universal but laid low until a release plan from Paladin was announced.
Shannon has been making the rounds of the talk shows in the last few months, not necessarily to promote this movie since he’s been in a few others recently. Director Matthew Ross has also given a few interviews to raise awareness and get the word out.
It’s nothing special and it’s almost guaranteed to fall through the cracks of a busy holiday release season. While Shannon certainly has a stellar reputation among serious movie fans, this has zero buzz and I’m assuming very low name recognition. It hasn’t gotten a boost and the lack of either paid or organic press activity means that needle isn’t being moved anytime soon.