Instant Watching: Brooklyn Lobster

Instant Watching: Brooklyn Lobster July 13, 2011

In her weekly column, Instant Watching, Christie Dean talks about recently produced obscure and independent films that are made available through Netflix’s Instant Watch feature.

Brooklyn Lobster, “presented” by Martin Scorcese, is about a 60 year old family-owned lobster business in financial trouble. Frank Giorgio, owner of Giorgio’s Lobster Farm, is working hard during the Christmas season to save the business after his bank defaults on the mortgage. In addition, the water pipes that provide water for his lobsters have been severed, and he needs to find a way to keep all of the lobsters alive until the problem is fixed. Since it’s the holiday, his son Michael, with his girlfriend Kerry, come from Seattle to visit their respective families in Brooklyn, and Michael instantly dedicates himself to helping around the lobster farm and the family restaurant, trying to help keep his father’s business from being taken away from his dad by the highest bidder in a public auction, and keeping relationships within and outside of the Giorgio family on good terms.

An element of Frank’s personality that resonated with me is his refusal to be helped. Even though he has been a great friend and family member to everyone, he resists when others attempt to return the favor. This is very blatant throughout the movie, and one scene illustrated this so well: One night as he’s checking to make sure his lobsters are still alive in their temporary containers, he sees one that had escaped onto the floor. When Frank picks it up to place it back in the water to help it stay alive, the lobster pinches him on the hand. Instead of getting angry with it, Frank recognizes that his own stubbornness is similar to the lobster’s and even goes so far as to tell the lobster that he forgives it. It was a humorous moment, but also a very telling one.

This wasn’t a spiritual film by any stretch, but it just reminded me that sometimes we get so caught up in our mission on earth to demonstrate Christ’s love to others that we often deny other believers the chance to show His love to us. Brooklyn Lobster is a good film about pride, misplaced priorities, and families sticking together. And the soundtrack, filled with Christmas songs, is a good distraction from these hot summer days.

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