top of page

Yorgos Lanthimos/ Lighthouse Pictures

   Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, known for his distinct and unconventional storytelling, presents a cinematic marvel “Poor Things,” a science fiction black comedy that defies expectations and invites audiences on a thought- provoking journey. Starring Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, and Mark Ruffalo, the film takes a darkly humorous look at life, resurrection, and societal norms.

   Set in a Victorian inspired steampunk world, a depressed young pregnant woman Bella (Emma Stone), commits suicide and is brought back to life by Dr. Goodwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe), who replaces Bella’s brain with that of her unborn baby. Bella, an adult with the mind of a newborn baby, takes viewers on a journey through her various stages of development with assistance from her creator Dr. Baxter aka “God” and his eager young student, Max McCandles. We accompany Bella as she explores the complexities of life, pleasure, and human sexuality. Through Bella’s eyes, viewers are treated to a whirlwind adventure across continents with shady lawyer Duncan Wadderburn, (Mark Ruffalo).

  The film follows young medical student, Max McCandles, who is tasked with assisting his eccentric professor Dr. Goodwin Baxter, aka “God”, and his maid in helping Bella to mature. As Bella matures mentally and verbally, she and Max plan to marry at the behest of Dr. Goodwin. Bella’s curiosity about sex and the outside world implores her to yearn for freedom and to gain control of her own destiny away from Dr. Goodwin’s mansion. With the help of Goodwin’s lawyer, Duncan, he takes Bella along with him on a cross- continent journey.

  Emma Stone delivers a captivating performance as the resurrected protagonist, infusing the character with a mix of childlike innocence, determination, and a newfound sexual freedom. Stone’s riveting performance captures the essence of a character reborn in a world free from the prejudices of her time. Her portrayal is a testament to her versatility as an actress, as she seamlessly transitions between moments of humor, vulnerability, and curiosity.

   Mark Ruffalo’s character Duncan is a sly and predatory womanizer, but Ruffalo portrays him with a lighthearted humor that only he could do.

Lanthimos’ direction in “Poor Things” is a masterclass in blending the absurd with the profound. The film’s visual style, characterized by meticulous framing, deadpan humor, is unmistakably Lanthimos. The director’s unique approach to storytelling, evident in his previous works such as “The Lobster” and “The Favorite,” a breath of fresh air in a cinematic landscape often bound by conventions.

  The narrative unfolds as a journey across continents, offering a series of surreal and unpredictable encounters with some very colorful characters. Lanthimos uses this unconventional narrative structure to explore themes of identity, societal expectations, female empowerment, and the pursuit of freedom. The film cleverly balances moments of dark humor with poignant reflections on the human condition, creating a viewing experience that is as thought- provoking as it is entertaining.

   Visually, Poor Things, is a feast for the eyes, with cinematography that captures both the whimsical and the poignant moments. The production design contributes to the film’s distinct aesthetic, creating a world the feels familiar and otherworldly. The soundtrack, a crucial element to Lanthimos’ films, enhances the atmospheric richness of key scenes.

   “Poor Things,” is a cinematic gem that exemplifies Yorgos Lanthimos’s ability to push boundaries and redefine storytelling. With stellar performances from Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo and Willem Dafoe, the film invites audiences into a world where the extraordinary becomes the norm. Lanthimos’ dream like fairy tale makes “Poor Things” a must watch for those seeking a humorous and visually striking cinematic experience. It’s a testament to the power of cinema to challenge, entertain, and leave a lasting impression on its viewers.

  Lanthimos’ beautiful spectacular masterpiece leaves the Indies Nest with awestruck wonder, and a sense of gratitude for giving viewers the opportunity to enter this breathtaking dream world titled, Poor Things.

Poor Things

bottom of page