Comfortable and Furious

Poor Things

At the very first heartbeat of this outrageously original and beautiful movie, I was hypnotized and hooked. From viewing the awful offal of the cutting room, training fledgling surgeons, to the delicious, but captivating Frankensteinean reality of Bella baby, mother and child, this project of Yorgos Lanthimos was something extra-special. 

A pregnant suicide was rescued after a jump off the bridge by the brilliant, but mad-scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (God for short), and the brain of the unborn was planted into the resurrected Bella as a scientific experiment. And, boy-howdy, we can readily see later in the film the reason for the jump off the bridge, her estranged husband, Alfie Blessington. 

Bella had a thirsty baby’s brain in a woman’s body, and her quest for knowledge and life experience was the very essence of this film. This accelerated journey into the adult world of life’s pleasures and experience were impossible to corral by even Dr. Goodwin and his willing assistant Max McCandles (Ramy Youssef). Once Bella had tasted the elixir of sexuality and the inevitable battle of these sexes, she was swept away by an opportunistic attorney Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo) who got a lot more than he could handle with Bella. 

Bella’s growth, sexually, intellectually and emotionally was exponential, as she quickly analyzed and exploited the primitive male foibles for her own personal development. Poor Things is a masterpiece of absurdity, and a dark comedy that satirizes hypocrisy, sexism and classism. 

The acting in this film has never been better. Emma Stone elevates her game from wonderful movies like The Favourite, to her stunning performance in Poor Things. Willem Dafoe is magnificent as the mad, but charismatic and caring mad scientist and the creator of life. The supporting performances of Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, Jarred Carmichael and Kathryn Hunter as Madame Swiney at the brothel were just wonderful additions to the stellar cast. 

Poor Things, as well as being a cinephile’s dream come true for acting and originality, was just a gorgeous movie to see. The cinematography and sets were simply beautiful to behold, opening up a worldview of Europe that we could not merely imagine for that time period. 

As the movie wound its way to the conclusion, there were plot twists and turns that were not expected, and I will not disclose them here. I will just say that in that time period, it was indeed a man’s world….But the men of that world had never, ever met anything like Bella.

At Academy time, who knows what will happen. Like Clint Eastwood said in the great Western Unforgiven, “Deserves got nothing to do with it.” I’m a poor choice to judge, having not seen most of the other nominees, but personal incredulity aside, I cannot imagine Poor Things not sweeping a wheelbarrow full of gold on this one. I’m sure that the explicit sex scenes and nudity will not work in the favor of Poor Things, but I can’t imagine this film without them. Emma Stone is in the rare-air of actresses, and this cannot be denied by anyone who loves cinema.

10.0+/10.0 With the Goatesians Rating of Best Picture of the Century

Memorable Quotes:

  • “I will fucking throw you overboard!” -Duncan
  • “So, you wish to marry me, or kill me? Is that the proposal? – Bella
  • “I must go punch that baby!” -Bella
  • ” My empathy is creeping towards what I would describe… a contemptuous rage. -Bella
  • “My father once told me, “Always carve with compassion.” He was a fucking idiot, but it’s not bad advice. -Dr. Godwin Baxter
  • “Why keep it in my mouth if it is revolting? -Bella
  • “I have taken five milligrams of heroin through the toes for pain, amphetamines for energy, and cocaine… because I am partial to cocaine. -Dr. Godwin Baxter







One response to “Poor Things”

  1. Goat Avatar

    Yes! Oppenheimer got the most Gold, but Poor Things did very well with 4 Oscars, including Best Actress, Make-up and Hairstyle, Production Design and Costume Design.

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