Yorgos Lanthimos
Γιώργος Λάνθιμος
Lanthimos in October 2023
Born (1973-09-23) 23 September 1973 (age 50)
Athens, Greece
Years active1995–present
(m. 2013)
AwardsFull list

Yorgos Lanthimos (/ˈlænθɪms/; Greek: Γιώργος Λάνθιμος[1] [ˈʝorɣos ˈlanθimos]; born 23 September 1973) is a Greek filmmaker. He has received multiple accolades, including a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe Award, as well as nominations for five Academy Awards.

Lanthimos started his career in experimental theatre before making his directorial film debut with the sex comedy My Best Friend (2001). He rose to prominence directing the psychological drama film Dogtooth (2009), which won the Un Certain Regard prize at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Lanthimos transitioned to making English-language films with the black comedy The Lobster (2015), which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

He has since collaborated with actress Emma Stone in the period black comedies The Favourite (2018) and Poor Things (2023). He received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Director and Best Picture for both films; the latter also won the Golden Lion at the 80th Venice International Film Festival. Most recently, they collaborated on Kinds of Kindness (2024).

Early life and education

Lanthimos was born in the Pagrati neighbourhood of Athens on 23 September 1973, the son of shop owner Eirini and basketball player Antonis Lanthimos.[2] His father played for Pagrati BC and the Greek national basketball team, later serving as a basketball instructor at the Moraitis School.[3] Lanthimos was primarily raised by his mother.[2]

After completing his education at the Moraitis School, he studied business administration. He also followed his father into playing basketball for Pagrati BC.[4] His basketball career was cut short by injury and he subsequently decided to study film and television directing at the Hellenic Cinema and Television School Stavrakos in Athens.[2]


1995–2008: Rise to prominence

During the 1990s, Lanthimos directed a series of videos for Greek dance-theater companies. Since 1995 he has directed TV commercials, short films, experimental theater plays and music videos (such as for Sakis Rouvas).[5] He was also a member of the creative team that designed the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.[5][6]

Lanthimos's feature film career started with the 2001 mainstream Greek comedy film My Best Friend, which he co-directed with Lakis Lazopoulos.[7] Robert Koehler of Variety declared "Lanthimos works mightily to make a big impression. As a result [the film] is a sex farce on steroids, overflowing with energy and excessive curiosity about what the movie camera actually can do".[8]

His sophomore project was the experimental and psychological drama Kinetta, which premiered at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival.[9] The film revolves around three nameless protagonists as they attempt to film and photograph various badly reenacted struggles between a man and a woman at a Greek hotel. The film earned mixed to negative reviews. Roger Moore of Movie Nation described it as "overtly navel-gazing, obscure to the point of suggesting obscurant. It’s a 95 minute exercise in minimalism, behavior studies, psychology and boredom."[10] John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter wrote a positive review he stating, "The standoffish debut holds some pleasures for patient viewers" adding, "Lanthimos enjoys provoking us visually...The camera’s gaze is as idiosyncratic as the visions the Driver tries to bring to life, but unlike him, the film seems satisfied with what it creates."[11]

In 2008 he directed a production of Natura morta in un fosso written by Fausto Paravidino at the Amore Theatre in Greece.[12][13]

2009–2017: Breakthrough and acclaim

Lanthimos in September 2015

His third feature film, a Greek psychological drama Dogtooth, won the Un Certain Regard prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival[14][15] and was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards.[16] Critic Roger Ebert praised Lanthimos for "his command of visuals and performances".[17] The Associated Press described the film as "Disturbing and at times startlingly brutal, the film will alienate those who seek genteel fare at the art house. But its edgy integrity and distinctive atmosphere should win fans in some corners, particularly among those who admire the less tongue-in-cheek work of Lars Von Trier."[18] In 2010, he acted in and co-produced Attenberg, a Greek drama film directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari. His fourth feature film, Alps (2011), won the Osella Award for Best Screenplay at the 68th Venice International Film Festival.[19] A. O. Scott of The New York Times described the film as "systematically unsettling our sense of what is normal and habitual in human interactions."[20]

Lanthimos's fifth film was the absurdist black comedy The Lobster (2015) starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly. The script for this film won the ARTE International Award as Best CineMart Project at the 42nd International Film Festival Rotterdam.[21] The film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival[22] and won the Jury Prize.[23][24] Chris Nashawatay of Entertainment Weekly praised the film, saying that "Lanthimos' films aren't for everyone. They're deadpan and almost clinically detached. At times they feel like dispatches from a distant alien planet."[25]

In 2017, Lanthimos directed the psychological horror film The Killing of a Sacred Deer starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Barry Keoghan. It premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival where it competed for the Palme d'Or. Mark Kermode of The Guardian wrote: "As black comedy gives way to grand guignol, we are reminded of the tortured games that Michael Haneke once played upon his bourgeois protagonists and audiences." He also compared it to films such as Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. William Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973), and Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin.[26]

2018–present: Collaborations with Emma Stone

Since 2018 Lanthimos has collaborated with Emma Stone on numerous projects including Poor Things which earned her the Academy Award for Best Actress

In 2018 he directed the period black comedy, The Favourite starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. The film is a tragicomic tale of personal and political jealousy and intrigue revolving around Anne, Queen of Great Britain in 18th-century England. It made its debut at the 75th Venice International Film Festival where it won the Grand Jury Prize.[27] The New York Times labeled the film a Critic's Pick with A.O. Scott writing, "Lanthimos, his camera gliding through gilded corridors and down stone staircases — in exquisitely patterned light and shadow, with weird lenses and startling angles — choreographs an elaborate pageant of decorum and violence, claustrophobia and release."[28] The film went on to tie with the Alfonso Cuaron directed drama film Roma for the most nominations at 91st Academy Awards, with ten, including Best Picture and Best Director for Lanthimos (winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for Olivia Colman).[29]

He then directed the 16mm black and white silent short Bleat (2022) starring Emma Stone and Damien Bonnard. Bleat was co-commissioned by the Greek National Opera and Athens-based cultural foundation NEON.[30][31]The story, set on the Greek Cycladic island of Tenos, revolves around a woman in black who is mourning inside a simple house.[32][33] The film has been described as experimental and surrealist in style and focuses on themes of loneliness, connection, death, and desire as well as human and animal interaction.[34] The film has only been shown twice, first being at the Stavros Niarchos Hall in Athens in 2022,[35] and the second at Alice Tully Hall at the New York Film Festival in 2023.[36] Lanthimos designed Bleat to be screened only in theaters with a live orchestra and chorus.[37]

In 2023, he directed and produced the coming of age dark comedy Poor Things, which is based on the 1992 novel of the same name.[38] The film marked the third collaboration between Lanthimos and Stone, and also featured performances from Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, and Ramy Youssef. The film premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival where it won the Golden Lion.[39] Kyle Smith of The Wall Street Journal described the film as "Sumptuous, dazzling and glorious".[40] It went on to receive eleven nominations at the 96th Academy Awards, winning four (including the Academy Award for Best Actress for Emma Stone) as well as seven nominations at the 81st Golden Globes Awards, where it won Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.[41] During the shooting of Poor Things, Yorgos photographed the behind the scenes, crew and actors. These documentations became Lanthimos' first photography monograph 'Dear God, the Parthenon is still broken' (Void, 2024).[42]

For the anthology film Kinds of Kindness (2024), Lanthimos reunited with many actors he previously worked with such as Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, and Joe Alwyn and new collaborators Jesse Plemons, Hong Chau, and Hunter Schafer.[43] Originally titled AND, the film is centered around three separate stories, with the actors playing a different character in each. It premiered at the 77th Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2024, and was released June 21, 2024 by Searchlight Pictures.[44]

Upcoming projects

Between 2018 and 2021 it was reported that Lanthimos was in talks to direct adaptations of The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western,[45] with New Regency and Vertigo Entertainment joined as co-producers, and Pop. 1280.[46] In 2024 it was reported that Lanthimos was working on an adaptation of My Year of Rest and Relaxation together with author Ottessa Moshfegh. In January 2024, it was announced he would direct an English-language remake of the 2003 Korean science fiction comedy Save the Green Planet! with Ari Aster as co-producer; in May, it was announced that Stone and Plemons had been cast in the project, now titled Bugonia.[47][48] The film is aimed for a November 2025 release.[49]

Style and themes

Lanthimos is a part of a postmodern film movement known as the Greek Weird Wave. His films Kinetta, Dogtooth, and Alps are greatly influenced by his Greek heritage. Similarly, his English-language films The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer continue to investigate similar thematic issues.[50]

Lanthimos's films often feature uniquely framed cinematography, deadpan acting, and characters with stilted speech.[51] Lanthimos’s films are known for mixing absurdist dark comedy with violent and sexually explicit content, as well as eccentric world-building in his films with less grounded settings. He has often explored sexually taboo subjects in his films, such as rape and incest. His films are often sociopolitical in nature, and often explore the nature of power and its impact on the people who are vying for, using, or being exploited or influenced by it. [citation needed]

Personal life

While working as an actor and producer on Attenberg (2010), Lanthimos met and began dating the film's star, Greek-French actress Ariane Labed.[52] They married in 2013.[53][54] They lived in London from 2011 until 2021, and now primarily reside in Athens.[55][56]


Feature film

Year Title Director Producer Writer
2001 My Best Friend Yes[a] No No
2005 Kinetta Yes No Yes
2009 Dogtooth Yes Co-producer Yes
2010 Attenberg[b] No Yes No
2011 Alps Yes Yes Yes
2015 The Lobster Yes Yes Yes
2017 The Killing of a Sacred Deer Yes Yes Yes
2018 The Favourite Yes Yes No
2023 Poor Things Yes Yes No
2024 Kinds of Kindness Yes Yes Yes
2025 Bugonia Yes Yes No

Short film

Year Title Director Writer Producer
1995 O viasmos tis Hlois[c] Yes Yes Yes
2001 Uranisco Disco Yes Yes No
2013 Necktie Yes Yes Yes
2019 Nimic Yes Yes No
2022 Bleat Yes Yes Yes


Year Title Notes
2002 D.D.D Theatro tou Notou (Amore-Dokimes)
2004 Bluebeard Theatro Porta
2008 Natura morta in un fosso Theatro tou Notou (Amore)
2011 Platonov National Theatre of Greece[57]

Recurring collaborators

2001 2005 2009 2011 2015 2017 2018 2023 2024 TBD
My Best Friend
Steve Krikris
Tina Papanikolaou
Aris Servetalis
Angeliki Papoulia
Ariane Labed
Colin Farrell
Olivia Colman
Anthony Dougall
Rachel Weisz
Emma Stone
John Locke
Joe Alwyn
Willem Dafoe
Margaret Qualley
Jesse Plemons

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Yorgos Lanthimos

Awards and nominations received by Lanthimos's films
Year Title Academy Awards BAFTA Awards Golden Globe Awards
Nominations Wins Nominations Wins Nominations Wins
2009 Dogtooth 1
2015 The Lobster 1 1 1
2018 The Favourite 10 1 12 7 5 1
2023 Poor Things 11 4 11 5 7 2
Total 23 5 24 12 13 3

Actors' awarded performances

Under Lanthimos's direction, these actors have received the Academy Award nominations for their performances in their respective roles.

Year Performer Role Film Result
Academy Award for Best Actress
2019 Olivia Colman Queen Anne The Favourite Won
2024 Emma Stone Bella Baxter Poor Things Won
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
2024 Mark Ruffalo Duncan Wedderburn Poor Things Nominated
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
2019 Emma Stone Abigail Masham The Favourite Nominated
Rachel Weisz Sarah Churchill Nominated


  1. ^ Co-directed with Lakis Lazopoulos
  2. ^ Also actor; Role: "The Engineer"
  3. ^ Also editor


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