Poor Things Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, Jerrod Carmichel, Christopher Abbot, and Margaret Qualley

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Poor Things Movie Review
Poor Things Movie Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

What’s Good: The strange plot and the fantastic visuals make this film a unique experience.

What’s Bad: The film loses a bit of steam as it moves into its third act and doesn’t make the landing as hard as it could have

Loo Break: The section in Paris goes a bit too long, so if you need a break, this is the moment.

Watch or Not?: Yes, Poor Things conjures Lanthimos at the peak of his directing abilities, and it is a must-watch just for that.

Language: English (with subtitles).

Available On: Theatrical release

Runtime: 141 Minutes

User Rating:

In 2009, Yorgos Lanthimos released Dogtooth, an extraordinary family drama that would make him break into the Western mainstream, and from there, the Greek director has continued his quest to tell fascinating stories in his way. Poor Things, his latest film, brings all the tools Lanthimos is known for, but this time taken to the next level in what could be described as Lanthimos doing the best Terry Gilliam film ever made, an adventure that deals with self-discovery and sexuality.

Poor Things Movie Review
Poor Things Movie Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Poor Things Movie Review: Script Analysis

Poor Thing is a bizarre movie; this must be left clear for mainstream audiences because this is Lanthimos’s weirdest but also his most fun and playful. So, for anyone out there who isn’t in the mood to experience a bizarre movie that will challenge your perceptions of narrative, visual design, and even acting, you can move to some other things, which is fine. Nevertheless, those audience members who delight themselves in the weird will enjoy exploring this world.

In many ways, Poor Thing is a very similar movie to this year’s Barbie in that it is a story of self-discovery through the lens of a young woman. However, in many ways as well, Barbie never really allowed its main character to explore the world that she wanted so badly to be a part of, which is something that Poor Things allows its main character, Bella, thoroughly, and through it, the discovery of all things that make life beautiful and awful at the same time.

The similarities don’t end there, because just like Barbie jumped to the conclusion without finding a good reason for it, Poor Things also suffers from a sloppy third act, in which the conclusion the protagonist arrives at makes total sense, but then the film keeps going for a bit more without giving a justification. This last third of the film feels a bit useless and takes away from the movie’s momentum, serving as a strange tangent that could have been cut out of the film.

The script written by Tony McNamara, who also registered Lanthimo’s previous film, The Favourite, results in Lanthimos’s funniest film to date, which is great as the director has a superb sense of comedy, and it is something that should never disappear from his movie. The film’s jokes come from many different places, but they always land thanks to the fantastic delivery of the cast and their good sense of timing. The character’s resolutions might be murky, but the journey is a beautiful experience that everyone should try.

Poor Things Movie Review: Star Performance

Poor Things is the Emma Stone show. The actress feels bold, brave, and confident in her skill as a performer and excels at everything the script throws at her. Stone’s comedic abilities help her a lot, as she is willing to laugh at herself and with herself about all the absurd things happening in the film. Stone is already an Oscar winner; she has nothing to prove to anyone, and this confidence allows her to go into these more experimental projects without a second thought.

Stone also clearly feels very comfortable with Lanthimos, and their partnership will undoubtedly result in more magical projects like this one. The rest of the cast is also quite excellent. Mark Ruffalo serves as the other character with the most screen time, but a lot of publicity has been done for a character that ends up being quite pathetic and tame compared to the many descriptions of debauchery placed on him. Dafoe and Youssef play way more compelling characters, and they should get much more recognition.

Poor Things Movie Review
Poor Things Movie Review Is Out! (Picture Credit: IMDb)

Poor Things Movie Review: Direction, Music

Lanthimos’ visual language cranks the insanity a couple more levels than usual, resulting in a film that feels like something he would do. I cannot help but trace this visual aesthetic to the work of Terry Gilliam, who is also a big fan of big angular lenses that distort the image in such a way that it sometimes makes us stalkers looking through a looking glass. For some, the use of these angular lenses might be a bit too much; they are already part of Lanthimo’s personal touch, so it seems.

The use of practical sets and CGI backgrounds also makes this version of our world feel magical and terrifying as if everything is coming out of our unconscious and pouring onto the screen. There is no other movie this year that looks as unique as this one, and the film’s score, composed by Jerskin Fendrix, fits the bill by creating tunes that feel whimsical and anxiety-inducing at the same time, enhancing the dream link qualities of the film.

Poor Things Movie Review: The Last Word

Poor Things is not Lanthimos’s best film. I believe The Killing of a Sacred Deer still holds that title, but this is the most fun Lanthimos’ work on screen. The film is everything that Barbie tried to be but couldn’t when it comes to a woman trying to find herself in the world and overcoming the many hurdles that come with it. Poor Things certainly isn’t for everyone, but it is a film everyone should watch, especially if they believe they wouldn’t like it.

Poor Things Trailer

Poor Things releases on September 8, 2023.

Share with us your experience of watching Poor Things.

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