Premieres 12/1 at 8pm ET
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The film debuted at the Telluride Film Festival on Saturday and is the work of Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, best known for the Oscar-winning movie “The Favourite.” Some entertainment outlets predict that Lanthimos will again get multiple Academy Award nominations for his latest work.
This sci-fi black comedy is based on Alasdair Gray’s 1992 novel of the same name. It follows Stone playing Bella, a Victorian woman who dies by suicide but is then brought back to life by a scientist who is also her guardian. Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe) revives her by implanting the brain of her unborn child into her body, which effectively makes her a child with a woman’s body.
Things become creepy as Bella discovers a preoccupation with sexual activity despite still having a child’s mind. The story is essentially a retelling of “Frankenstein,” but with a heavy dose of graphic sex scenes.
Lanthimos defended the movie’s raunchiness at a press conference at the Venice Film Festival, saying “sex was intrinsic to the novel” and essential to demonstrating Bella’s freedom.
“It was very important for me to not make a film that would be prudish, because it would be completely betraying the main character. So we had to be confident Emma had to have no shame about her body, nudity [and] engaging in those scenes and she understood that right away,” he said, per Variety.
“The great thing about me and Emma is that we have made four films together; there is a shorthand and we can communicate without having to explain or talk too much about things.” Lanthimos said, “As soon as I started saying something about sex, she would say: ‘Yes,’ of course, it’s Bella. We will do what we need to do.”
“Poor Things” currently has a 100% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, with reviewers calling it “a unique piece of artistry” and “flamboyant, florid, fantastic, and freakish.”
Despite critics praising the movie, there were several people who were disturbed by the premise.
“Warning; Hollywood at it again with Prestige Kiddie Porn,” one X user shared. “With the body of an adult and the brain of a literal newborn, she does what all newborns do: she becomes a nymphomaniac and prostitute, of course. There are graphic sex scenes between Stone – playing a baby who can barely talk or walk – and (ew) Mark Ruffalo, the commie Disney star. I forget: can newborns consent to sex? If they’re smoking hot babes they can!”
“Poor Things” will premiere nationwide on December 8.