5 memorably mad things from Poor Things that we can't stop thinking about

Have you watched Poor Things yet? The acclaimed black comedy is directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, now has two Golden Globes to its name and is being tipped as an Oscars frontrunner. Aside from all the awards talk, it's simply a riotously entertaining movie that mixes bawdy comedy with character-led revelation, all anchored by a terrific central performance from Emma Stone.

Here are five memorably mad things from the movie that was can't stop thinking about.


1. Emma Stone's tour-de-force performance

It takes an actor of real skill to convey the physical and emotional evolution of a character in a way that feels wholly organic. This is Emma Stone's main achievement in Poor Things, as her character Bella Baxter must learn to coordinate her adult body and her child's mind to achieve a kind of synthesis that will help her understand the world.

Stone laces her performance with all manner of physical nuances. From a rogue flailing limb here to a wonky forward step there, Stone keeps these physical dissonances consistent throughout the movie until Bella becomes holistic in the third act and fully comes to terms with her past. Little wonder Stone is being tipped for her third Oscar: she delivers a performance that is both outrageously funny and emotionally acute.



2. Mark Ruffalo's hilarious against-type turn

Ruffalo has credited his role in Poor Things for rescuing him from 'internet dad' turns, and boy does he shatter that image. He plays the caddish English lawyer Duncan Wedderburn who imagines himself as a rakish Casanova as he sweeps Bella on a grand European tour of discovery.

Ruffalo ditches his penchant for sympathetic characters to play a total swine who seeks to own Bella as his own private plaything. However, as she starts to intellectually outstrip him, the movie is able to mine yet more rib-tickling black comedy from Duncan's eventual psychological downfall and Ruffalo plays it right to the hilt.



3. This dance sequence

Words cannot describe the latest insane dance-off from Yorgos Lanthimos. We first got a taste of this in The Favourite when Rachel Weisz and Joe Alwyn threw anachronistic shapes in the 18th-century court of Queen Anne (played by Olivia Colman).

The dance that features in Poor Things is arguably even better, and not just because it's funny and features memorably off-kilter choreography. It also propels Bella's character development: the dance acts as a profound moment of liberation for her, and it reinforces how she is always throwing off the oppressive shackles of her steampunk Victorian society.



4. Jerskin Fendrix's score

A movie like Poor Things wouldn't be best served with a traditional symphonic score. Composer Jerskin Fendrix steps forward with his debut feature film score, a striking, angular and bizarre collection of keening strings, percussion and bizarre acoustic arrangements that suggest, appropriately enough, a consciousness that is taking shape in front of our eyes.

Indeed, as the movie progresses, Fendrix's score starts to cohere more readily, emerging with euphoric statements of wonder as Bella comes to terms with who she really is. The music is a key facet in the movie as it reflects the textural outlandishness while speaking to the emotional truth of Bella's odyssey.



5. The steampunk conception of Europe

Poor Things is a real feast for the senses and demands to be seen on the big screen where you can drink in all the singular details. The movie is adapted from Alasdair Gray's book but in truth leaps beyond it to become a unique entity that mashes up Victorian, steampunk and retro-futuristic aesthetics in ways that are truly dazzling.

Full credit must go to Lanthimos' superb crew of artists: DP Robbie Ryan whose fish-eye lenses curve the very essence of Bella's world, Holly Waddington whose florid costumes eventually evolve into something more naturalistic, and Shona Heath and James Price whose art decoration makes the movie a true thing of wonder.


Click the link below to book your tickets for Poor Things, which is released at Cineworld on January 12th.