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Sci-Fi Shenanigans and Stone's Spark: A Review of Poor Things

A darkly comedic gem, "Poor Things" shines with audacious storytelling and a captivating performance by Emma Stone.

Fueled by an Oscar win for Stone, this film by acclaimed director Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Lobster," "The Favourite") is a genre-bending blend of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark comedy. This is right up my alley!

Reminiscent of Frankenstein, it tells the bizarre tale of Bella (Stone), a woman brought back to life with the brain of a baby. Raised by her eccentric creator, "God" (Willem Dafoe), Bella eventually ventures out into the world, encountering both hilarious and poignant situations as she navigates newfound freedom and societal constraints. There's a moment when they're out eating and there's a crying baby and she says "excuse me while I go punch that baby." We can all relate right? That was funny!

Stone delivers a tour-de-force performance, perfectly capturing Bella's childlike innocence and gradual awakening. The supporting cast, including Mark Ruffalo, adds further depth to the film's exploration of identity, love, and female empowerment. Lanthimos' signature style, with its offbeat dialogue and meticulously crafted visuals, creates a world that is both unsettling and strangely beautiful.

There are two main themes that I loved exploring in this movie. One was about the right of women to make choices about their sexuality and about their lives. The other is about questioning authority. Specifically, questioning the authority of either God, your parent or partner as one tries to make decisions. Bella does not always make good decisions based on the information that she is given because sometimes the information is incomplete or flawed in some way. I like seeing her reflect on social norms with fresh eyes. Everyone in Bella's life is trying to manipulate her to do what they want and it doesn't always work.

While the film's dark humor, adult content and unconventional narrative may not be for everyone, "Poor Things" is a must-see for those who enjoy very different movies.

This film won four Oscars at the recent Academy Awards. All well deserved.

5 out of 5 stars.

 

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