Mostra 2023: “Poor Things”, if Frankenstein’s creature was a woman

Patrick John

9/8/20232 min read

Yórgos Lánthimos is back on the Lido with Emma Stone in the risk-taking role of a female Frankenstein creature following the release of "The Favorite" (2019), which he had great success with during its presence at the Venice Film Festival.

Willem Dafoe's character, Doctor Goldwin Baxter, successfully revives Bella (Emma Stone) during a scientific experiment. Even though Bella is cognitively no better than a child, she picks up knowledge about her environment quickly. She embarks on a voyage with errant lawyer Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo) as a result of her hunger for information.

Once more, the Greek director delivers a devastating blow! By using the legend of Frankenstein's monster as a starting point, Yorgos Lánthimos goes beyond the model to produce a work that is both grandiose and interesting in its examination of the female form and patriarchy's restrictions on it. The smallest query or harmless deed from a still-ingenious woman-child strikes a powerful blow against patriarchal culture, casting doubt on how it regulates women.

Away from the typical depictions of female desire in film, Bella's heroine explores her body and experiences her sexuality without guilt or taboos. What can be said about Emma Stone's stunning performance, which balances burlesque and an Oscar-winning performance while carrying the feature film with enthralling fun? During the film's Lido presentation, the filmmaker also hailed his amazing commitment.

Lánthimos, for his part, keeps up with his eccentric visual experiments: extreme wide-angles, surprise fish eyes, and the complete range of the director are all present. The employment of these procedures is not always simple to justify, even while we are glad to let ourselves be taken away in this tornado of bizarre visuals, especially if this odd staging perfectly matches the funny tone of the work. Additionally, this tremendous universe gets its distinct flavor from its opulent visual style, which borders on kitsch but is nonetheless clear because everything makes sense despite the exorbitant prices.

The writing's small redundancy in the last part of the film could be regretted, but the topic's importance and Mark Ruffalo's excellent humor make it very easy to overlook these weaknesses. In short, "Poor Creatures" succeeds where "Barbie" (2023) fails because it has the luxury of giving a thoughtful and dedicated dialogue that precisely captures the mood of the times. One of the best movies of the 80th Venice Film Festival, without a doubt!