Emma Stone Rises From the Dead in Fantastical First Teaser for Poor Things

Movies News yorgos lanthimos
Emma Stone Rises From the Dead in Fantastical First Teaser for Poor Things

Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, the creator of films such as Dogtooth, The Lobster and The Favourite, is one of the most committedly individualistic–and weird–artists working in the world of feature film today, and upcoming entry Poor Things looks like it will only cement this reputation further. The modern Frankenstein parable debuted its first short teaser today, revealing star Emma Stone–returning from her starring role in The Favourite–rising from the grave as a newly created woman, thrust into a world much more fantastical than our own. As the official synopsis puts it:

The young woman Bella Baxter (Stone) is brought back to life by scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Under Baxter’s protection, Bella is eager to learn. Wanting to see more of the world, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), a slick and debauched lawyer, and travels across continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, Bella demands equality and liberation.

The teaser gives us glimpses of all those characters, not to mention supporting roles from Ramy Youssef and Jerrod Carmichael, but the film overall seems to belong to Stone and Ruffalo, whose delivery of the word “ow” in the footage below really has to be heard to be fully appreciated. Visually, Poor Things looks absolutely sumptuous, with a heavily stylized and surreal style of production design that evokes the mind-bending imagery of Terry Gilliam or Jean-Pierre Jeunet in films such as The City of Lost Children. Lanthimos’ films such as The Lobster have often dealt with the ethical trappings of fantastical premises–such as a man being forced to find a mate, lest he be turned into a lobster–but rarely have they been rendered with visuals this imaginative and expressionistic. It really feels like the director is stretching into all new visual territory here, as if he just finished a Michel Gondry movie marathon and thought “I’d like to try that for myself.”

Poor Things is adapted from the 1992 novel by Scottish writer Alasdair Gray, and is set to hit theaters on Sept. 8, 2023. Check out the short, engrossing first footage below.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin