If we had heard little from him since his last film, The Favorite, released in France in 2019, Yórgos Lánthimos is slowly but surely coming back to the fore. First of all, the Greek director remembered the good memories of his fans on the Mubi platform with nimic, a short film by Matt Dillon, Susan Elle and Daphne Patakia, focusing on the chance encounter between a cellist and a stranger in the subway, with an anxiety-inducing result. A brief parenthesis that allowed us to see that the director had lost none of his cynicism. And it’s not his next project that will say the opposite either.
As the public waited for their version of 1275 Souls by Jim Thompson (who inspired The Torch Blow by Bertrand Tavernier) and his appropriation of the work of Richard Brautigan entitled The Hawkline Monster: Western Gothic, which had been announced without more information having circulated about them, it is a completely different novel which will be the subject of the next feature film by Yórgos Lánthimos. The director’s return to the big screen will be with Poor Thingswhich is a tribute to Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and a caustic rereading of the myth of the Modern Prometheus.
Published in 1993 in France under the title Poor Creatures, this novel by Scottish writer Alasdair Gray criticizes the conventions of the Victorian era through the fictional memoirs of a certain Archibald McCandless, a doctor telling us how his colleague Godwin Baxter defied the laws of medicine and ethics taking himself for God. By resurrecting Bella Baxter by transplanting the brain of the fetus she was carrying before she died, the mad scientist brings a baby back to life in the body of an adult. While our narrator falls madly in love with his friend’s creation and both carefully follow its evolutionary progress, the young Bella naively discovers the harsh reality of the society in which she navigates, dynamiting in her own way the habits and customs specific to the Victorian era, living on love and fresh water, breaking free from pre-established rules.
The tribulations of this free spirit in a free body, a mixture of Frankenstein and Candide, make Poor Creatures a caustic political and social satire borrows from feminism, an explosive cocktail which must be at the origin of Lánthimos’ interest in this adaptation. This sarcastic tone is found in his filmography and also found its culmination in The Favoritewho played it Precious Ridiculousness. Talking about this feature film is not trivial, since one of the actresses of this one will take part in this new realization is Emma Stone, who will interpret this dear Bella Baxter.
At his side we will find Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe and Ramy Youssef. A four-star cast, which should give of its person to make Poor Things an iconoclastic work – which his first images already suggest. Something to arouse our curiosity. To see more, go to October 11 in dark rooms.
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[Cinéma] Poor Creatures: Reunion time has come for Emma Stone and Yórgos Lánthimos