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Poor Things: the new Emma Stone movie had an 8 minutes Ovation at Venice Film Festival

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Adapted from Alasdair Gray’s Victorian-era satire of the same name, Poor Things follows the young Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), who is brought back to life by scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter, a famous surgeon who’s kind and fearsome in equal measure. His medical students — except Max McCandless (Ramy Youssef), Baxter’s assistant — call him Monster. Bella calls him God.  Wanting to see more of the world, she runs away with a lawyer, Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), and travels across continents. Free from the prejudices of her time, Bella demands equality and liberation.

Poor Things trailer

Why is it good?

What makes Poor Things such a knee-slapper, despite its script and visuals, is Stone’s off-the-wall performance, at first, as an overgrown baby, and then as a woman with no filter. Along with Emma, the cast includes other big names, such as Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Abbott, Margaret Qualley, Kathryn Hunter, Suzy Bemba and Wayne Brett.

Beyond Poor Things 

Following the steps of the book, the film has many aspects of science fiction, a genre that Lanthimos flirted with in his other work The Lobster. Set during the Victorian Era (19th century), Gray’s book won several literary awards, including the Costa Book Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize.

Normally, Lanthimos’ works showed a severe vision of the world, like The Lobster itself, designed to remember how cruel human beings can be (as if we needed reminding). But his 2017 film The Favorite, less sadistic, aggressive, more cheerful, and obscene, suggested a possible change of direction. 

The Lobster trailer

And Poor Things is something else again: extravagant and optimistic, it suggests, in its own wicked and hilarious way, that humans can change for the better, and that a world of kindness would be achievable if everyone tried their best to be the best version of themselves. 

SAG- Aftra strike impacts

As a result of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, the actors skipped Venice this year and aren’t promoting the film yet. The strike is also why the original theatrical release, scheduled for September, has now been postponed until December. The hope is that by then the strike will be over, and Stone will be able to promote one of her best and most audacious works to date.


This film comes to us from an elite group of talent, including cinematographer Robbie Ryan and production designers James Price and Shona Heath, with an insinuating strange musical score by Jerskin Fendrix. Everything in it – every frame, every image, every joke, every performance – gets a gasp of excitement.

The movie will be released on 8 December in the US, January 12th in the UK and Ireland, and January 18 in Australia. Unfortunately, there is still no confirmed release date in Brazil. For now, all we can do is wait in excitement.


The article above was edited by Beatriz Gatz.
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Anna Maria Prado

Casper Libero '25

Just a latin american girl who loves books, musical theater and pasta. My grandpa once said writing is like traveling: once you do it once, you never want to stop. I could not agree more. You can find me at @annaprad_ or anna.silvaprado@hotmail.com