From filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos and producer Emma Stone comes the incredible tale and fantastical evolution of Bella Baxter, a young woman brought back to life by the brilliant and unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Under Baxter’s protection, Bella is eager to learn. Hungry for the worldliness she is lacking, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), a slick and debauched lawyer, on a whirlwind adventure across the continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, Bella grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation. (Searchlight Pictures US)


Reviews (15)



all reviews of this user

English …and Edward Scissorhands found the love of his life in Bella… The intellectual Yorgos Lanthimos in the fantastical world of Tim Burton with a considerable portion of sex, the socially hot topic of emancipation and framing in an artistic form for the highest film awards. Distinctive humor spiked with a bizarre parable about growing up and awareness of the feminine self. A delightful black-and-white paraphrase of Frankenstein with a brilliant depiction of the instinctive behavior of a curious childlike mind in an adult body with its physical needs. The aptly depicted process of the downfall of male rationality and ego after falling in love with a sexually animalistic and mentally unstable woman. Poor Things has the sole of a European arthouse delicacy that all Hollywood actors long four. I may or may not give it a fifth star in due time. A lot of scenes struck me as overly strained and not as funny as most of the guffawing audience found them to be. [Sitges Film Festival] ()


all reviews of this user

English Exactly what I expected — another wonderfully weird Greek film that’s not only bizarre but also highly cinematic, especially in its visuals. The way the director tilts the camera felt inspired by Karel Zeman and Wes Anderson. And Emma Stone is absolutely perfect, clearly having the time of her life with this role. Her Oscar is well-deserved. In the end, it’s a major cinematic experience, a film with depth, and a reminder that cinema should always amaze, surprise, and entertain its audience. Despite its epic strangeness (which might be why I’m holding back on that fifth star), Poor Things excels brilliantly. ()


all reviews of this user

English Yorgos Lanthimos’s greatest hits (coloured and expressively remixed). At its core, Poor Things is Dogtooth part II with the layout of an emancipation drama. Here we have a similar constellation – father-creator, who tries to protect a woman-child from the dangers of the world and foster in her a pure being, which makes him a god and a tyrant. Here we have a heroine who moves strangely, which reflects the twisted nature of the world and the attempt to free herself from conventions that others have imposed on her. Where Dogtooth ended, however, Poor Things begins. Bella and her journey of initiation through the world are reminiscent of a sexual and social bildungsroman with several stops along the way to discovering that her body belongs to her and her alone. This is a realisation that the heroes and heroines of Lanthimos’s previous films came to only painfully and with difficulty, usually ending in an embarrassing misunderstanding. The clumsy rebellion against convention, the arbitrariness of social rituals, the ego of men who try to remake women in their own image – in Poor Things, these Lanthimos trademarks are made more digestible because the film externalises them and caricatures them to an even greater extent. Nevertheless, it doesn’t sacrifice a certain amount of unpleasantness and the ability to put the viewer on the edge of their seat. I would place Bella and her escapades in schools instead of sex-education classes. Everything essential is there. Unfortunately, I only half believe Yorgos’s inner Zeman/Jeunet. I have always seen him as a brutalist and cinematographer Robbie Ryan as a realist. I find their pastel colouring books to be borderline kitschy – “attract with originality” recklessly overlaps with “make faces in every close-up”. Lanthimos’s originality has always consisted not in any spectacularly eccentric outward presentation, but in creating a picturesque initial situation, twisted realism and working with actors as if they were living marionettes. Of course, the actors are magnificent; I would point out the wonderful cameo by Hanna Schygulla in the role of an old woman who doesn’t shy away from talking about her sexuality. We can interpret Poor Things in various ways and probably every interpretation will have its own vague truth. Personally, I interpret the film as a metaphor for Lanthimos’s work, which began with warped and manipulative experiments on human material in an ugly laboratory and grew into comprehensible and mainstream catharsis in colourful settings. In my heart and soul, I will always have a greater affinity for his older, scarred dystopian freakshows about people dragged along by conventions than for his pathological fairy tales about poor wretches who have become masters of their own bodies and fate. ()


all reviews of this user

English Karel Zeman for the 21st century, or the emancipation of the Bride of Frankenstein through an original "porn satire" that manages to cut to the quick again and again; sometimes literally. Emma Stone gives such a masterful performance that if I were her husband, I wouldn't be doubly sure if she doesn't top it at home as well. ()


all reviews of this user

English Fuck you Anatomy of a Fall!! This duel of two European films that have collected awards and received similar enthusiastic ovations is won by Poor Things on all fronts. It can hardly compare to that ungrateful, extremely long and uninteresting, disgustingly cheap and literal copycat The Staircase for jaded bookworms and art nerds of the deepest grain. Poor Things is exceptional in that it satisfies both regular viewers and critics, which happens rarely. Yorgos Lanthimos creates unconventional and interesting films (I liked The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer), so I went to the cinema prepared, but this guy has matured as a director to the point where he has possibly made the best film of the year right from the start. I have never seen or remember such flawless filmmaking that would excel and dominate in every aspect. Poor Things is formally amazing. A beautiful Steampunk world in the Victorian era with beautifully painted sets (there are some scenes that you will probably want to hang as a painting at home), it has an original idea and a lot of interesting concepts (those animal hybrids are perfect). It also has a very strong cast. Willem Dafoe as the scientist is very smart and impressive, Mark Ruffalo has possibly the best role in his career, and Emma Stone, well, she is absolutely awesome, a sort of a cross between Harley Quinn, an absolutely incredible acting performance, if not the best female performance I have ever seen, she plays Bella brilliantly, I would be surprised if she didn't end up on drugs or in a mental institution after this. As a bonus, there is plenty of dark and cynical humor, where the whole cinema laughed. The humor always managed to liven up the film properly, and Bella's vulgarity and rudeness in society were simply the best. The film won me over almost from the beginning (although at first, I was afraid they were going to show us a black and white version), but once Bella starts traveling the world, it's one big party, with an excellent screenplay, great actors, fantastic cinematography, amazing visuals, humor, dialogues, and it's also appropriately perverse and twisted, as they fuck like crazy here! (The episode in the Parisian brothel with all those creeps and perverts is an absolute gem). I applaud standing up, I cry with enthusiasm, I take off my hat. A masterpiece. Flawless and magnificent! Proper Frankenstein's daughter! :) 10/10. ()


all reviews of this user

English Poor Things is a tremendously charming and wildly playful cinematic bildungsroman that demolishes gender roles and patriarchal fallacies with unbridled childlike verve, while grandiosely revealing their absurdity. Whereas Barbie was built on a shared sisterly sigh with a smile and remained in the realm of consumerist conformity while glorifying plastic kitsch, Poor Things offers up a lavish and iconoclastic riot grrrl pamphlet with a likable pout. Bella Baxter is a captivating, monstrous role model. Her journey through the world inevitably leads to her coming of age, but not in the sense of abandoning immediacy and committing herself to accepting the lot in life that others have laid out for her. Bella gets to know the world with its painful paradoxes, but she does not let herself be constrained by those around her and can conversely build places of personal freedom within herself and in her immediate surroundings amid all of the social nonsense. The film incorporates all of this into a sort of Art Nouveau ornament that is simultaneously delightfully beautiful and unavoidably bittersweet, as the steampunk stylisation and grotesque derangement constantly highlight its fantastical and thus unrealistic essence. ()


all reviews of this user

English The current hit by Yorgos Lanthimos, nominated for an extraordinary number of awards, is based on Alasdair Gray's book "Poor Things: Episodes from the Early Life of Archibald McCandless M.D., Scottish Public Health Officer" (1992). Gray is often compared to James Joyce, and that is why it is so easy to succumb to the impression of Lanthimos' genius, whose contribution, however, lies only in the combination of Gray's pseudo-Victorian novel with Frankenhooker (1990) by Frank Henenlotter. I perceive many other references, whether it's Freaks or Elephant Man, but the whole is an exceptionally charming pastiche. There is no need to elaborate on the magical performances of Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, Hanna Schygulla, and Margaret Qualley because it must have been a joy to work on such a creative film. Mary Shelley would surely be thrilled. ()


all reviews of this user

English A bizarre social satire tackling some of today's hot topics. Full of metaphors and subtle allusions, in an unusually bold visual concept of 1950s cardboard sets, black-and-white inserts and fish-eye camera orgies. A freak show love story that shows a complex palette of emotions and snapshots of adult life, it just loses its edge in places. Cut it, cut the sex scenes by half and 110 minutes of running time would be acceptable. This way we can admire the bold and distinctive story and the result is primarily controversial and only then entertaining. ()


all reviews of this user

English It has been a long time since a performance has captivated me as much as Emma Stone's here. I was cautious, because Yorgos Lanthimos's The Favourite didn't impress me as much as the rest of the world five years ago, and yet at least on the surface it seemed like a relatively normal film. Poor Things isn’t like that, it was immensely enjoyable from the opening scene. Victorian surrealism, strange scenes alternating with stranger ones, and gradually everything starts to make sense, but you still have no idea where it's going. I'm sure the film is brimming with all sorts of psychological and philosophical meanings; double, triple and multiple meanings that can be gradually revealed, but aren't necessary. It can stand without them and conveys its message easily to everyone, however bizarre the story and its protagonists are. ()


all reviews of this user

English The Daughter of Frankenstein and her emancipatory odyssey across Europe and the Mediterranean. Once again, Yorgos Lanthimos presents us with a fragment from a twisted fantasy world, but one that bears more parallels to our own than one might first expect. The story focuses on the development of the character Bella, who is brought back to life after death by a peculiar scientist, whereupon, with the brain of a child, she learns about the world and gradually develops in all directions, even those that could be described as taboo. Emma Stone gives a masterful performance, and her character packs on more and more layers as the minutes pass until the triumphant finale. This engaging, visually extravagant and humorous film about the journey of an original protagonists of real-world discovery and gradual emancipation will definitely not bore you for a moment. ()


all reviews of this user

English Poor Things is Yorgos Lanthimos’s most extravagant film yet, and that’s saying a lot. One of the most distinctive contemporary filmmakers properly broke free of his chains and, furthermore, had a lot of money to bring his far-out visions to life. The result is a complex, impertinently entertaining and bountifully bizarre comedy with a Frankenstein motive about one woman’s emancipatory journey to get to know the world and herself. A woman with the body of an adult and the mind of her own unborn child, whom we follow through a narrative arranged in chapters during her travels around Europe, as she breaks every conceivable social convention, gradually tripping up the patriarchy and finally putting a knife in its back as she undergoes complete accelerated development from a curious toddler to a naïve adolescent to an eloquent intellectual with her own clear opinion on the state of things. With its intelligent dialogue, well-thought-out concept, topical subject, intoxicating visuals, gripping acting performances, devilishly morbid ideas and a lot of nudity, Poor Things is like a fine wine. Oscar nominations are inevitable. ()


all reviews of this user

English Poor Things is an emancipatory odyssey of "Frankenstein's daughter" set in a bizarre steampunk world during the Victorian era. Yorgos Lanthimos, one of the most distinctive filmmakers of our time, has masterfully transitioned his unique style from smaller Greek oddities to major studio films. This time, he's working with a massive budget of $70 million, a significant leap from his previous film, The Favourite, which had a budget of $15 million. Despite this increase in scale, Lanthimos has not compromised his vision. Instead, he continues to attract top-tier actors eager to work with him, pushing their performances to new, often unprecedented, levels. Willem Dafoe is, as always, excellent, but Mark Ruffalo's performance is particularly noteworthy. You can feel how much he enjoys his role, practically stealing every scene he's in — his best work since Zodiac. However, the true standout is Emma Stone. She gives everything to her role as Bella, delivering a performance that's both fearless and all-encompassing. It's undoubtedly the pinnacle of her career so far. And let's not forget — Emma's dance scene is a showstopper, putting Wednesday's moves to shame! ()


all reviews of this user

English Poor Things doesn't deny the inspiration of “Frankenstein” and it certainly doesn't deny Yorgos Lanthimos' distinctive directorial style, which is unique in contemporary cinema. For two and a quarter hours, we have the amazing opportunity to immerse ourselves in a futuristically conceived Victorian world, in the centre of which is Bella, whose mind is an "unwritten book" in whose pages an emancipatory adventure of unprecedented proportions begins to unfold. Artistically, it is a polished piece of work, where more than one suggestive scene could be displayed in a museum as a treasured painting. Besides the strange camera angles and dreamlike filters, I enjoyed the (un)chaste costumes of Bella and her creations immensely. In terms of acting, I have nothing to fault the film. The driving force of the whole story is of course Emma Stone, who handles her role without any shame, and she is wonderfully seconded by the "Frankenstein" Willem Dafoe and the womanizer Mark Ruffalo, who ends up driven almost crazy by a skirt. It was engaging to watch Bella's mental development: from "baby" steps and a few words, to a physically intense exploration of her own body and sexuality, to a fully aware and confident view of the (twisted) world with a philosophical overlay. Despite its seemingly artsy style, Poor Things has the potential to appeal to a wide audience and is certainly not afraid to grab the patriarchy by the balls and give them a shake. ()


all reviews of this user

English Quite a bizarre ride. The creators gave us a taste of 19th-century European setting only to shift gears into a spectacle straight out of a Jules Verne film. Surprisingly, I found that if feminist themes are presented in a fun and not overly aggressive way (instead of being forced down my throat like foie gras), I can actually enjoy them. Let's face it, us guys can be real jerks sometimes. The filmmakers nailed it, and I really liked how Bellina's Parisian career was handled. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about the unsettlingly pedophilic vibes from Max McCandless. The film had its oddities, but Emma Stone clearly had a blast with her role. I loved the visuals and dialogue and even found myself laughing at times. So, despite its quirks, I couldn’t rate it below a four. / Lesson learned: You learn something new every day. ()


all reviews of this user

English Yorgos Lanthimos for the masses? They'll be showing it in theaters next month, and for my part, I'd love to see it. This Greek weirdo grows with each film he makes, proving that you can easily keep your distinctive signature while opening the gates of the mainstream. Art-wise, his latest release looks like an absolutely polished gem, helmed by Emma Stone, who here outdoes all her previous roles with her transformation from Bella as a toddler into a socially conscious woman. Whether it's her walk, her thoughts, her facial expressions or her physical quirks, she never leaves you in any doubt as to what mental stage she's in, and with only a wannabe adult Mark Ruffalo to back her up, there's no shortage of bizarre moments. At times the slapstick was traditionally too much for me from Yorgos, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't royally entertained for most of the running time. ()