Q&A with Yorgos Lanthimos, James Price, Shona Heath, Jerskin Fendrix, and Holly Waddington on Sept. 30 & Oct. 1
In his boldest vision yet, iconoclast auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, NYFF53; The Favourite, NYFF56) creates an outlandish alternate 19th century on the cusp of technological breakthrough, in which a peculiar, childlike woman named Bella (Emma Stone) lives with her mysterious caretaker, the scientist and surgeon Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Violently rambunctious, with a growing and unquenchable desire for sexual gratification, Bella turns every social propriety on its head. The shocking truth about her state, soon revealed, doesn’t stop Godwin’s gentle young apprentice (Ramy Youssef) from falling in love with her. After a rakish, libertine lawyer (Mark Ruffalo) whisks her away to see the world, Bella comes to understand her place in it, allowing us to bear witness to her journey of self-actualization. At once poignant and grotesque, Poor Things, based on a 1992 novel by Alasdair Gray, is a punkish update of the Frankenstein story that becomes a deeply feminist fairy tale about women taking back control of their own bodies and minds. A Searchlight Pictures release.
Recommended Film Comment reading:
- Last Ten Films: Yorgos Lanthimos
- Film Comment Selects Q&A: Yorgos Lanthimos
- Deep Focus: The Killing of a Sacred Deer
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