Frankenstein gets a crazy spin from Poor Things director Yorgos Lanthimos, who already showed his penchant for the weird with The Lobster and The Favourite. Though starting with a familiar springboard, he bounces into original directions that take surprising turns. Or perhaps shocking, depending on your ability to handle blood, guts, and lots of sex. The basics go back to Mary Shelly and her small novel about a man who reanimates a dead body, which author Alasdair Gray turned into his own 1992 book. Director Lanthimos and co-screenwriter Tony McNamara revel in the story’s twist arising from its creature named Bella. No bride of Frankenstein, Bella develops a mind of her own that leads her to explore the world, which includes lots of sex. This requires star Emma Stone to bare body and soul in an absolutely phenomenal performance that uses every acting tool from vocal mannerisms to facial twitches, and full body moves…which often involve lots of sex. Different film stocks, camera lenses, and other tricks help the director create this fantasy situation using smooth special effects and high-end
production values like Victorian era sets and fancy clothes. Other actors round out the picture, especially Mark Ruffalo as Bella’s suitor Duncan and Willem Dafoe as her creator Godwin, or God for short. Full of dark, unsettling humor and a brilliant performance, Poor Things offers a rich treat for those happy to handle blood, guts, and lots of sex.