Poor Things – Emma Stone – Mark Ruffalo – Movie Review by Efe Teksoy


Cinema Writer/Film Critic Efe TEKSOY; wrote the comedy, drama, and Science fiction film “POOR THINGS”, for America’s Los Angeles-based Internet Newspaper @alaturkanews.



Poor Things, written and directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, is an extraordinary production with black comedy and steampunk elements, adapted from Scottish author Alasdair Gray’s 1992 novel of the same name. Poor Things, which premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 1, 2023, where it won the Golden Lion, the most prestigious award of the festival, was listed among the top 10 films of 2023 by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. The production, which received 5 BAFTAs at the 77th British Academy Film Awards, won 2 Golden Globe Awards at the 81st Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for an OSCAR in 11 categories (including Best Picture) at the 96th Academy Awards, winning 4 Oscar for Best Actress for Emma Stone, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design. This story, which satirizes Victorian Age London with a surreal and postmodern touch, focuses on Bella Baxter, a young woman who is resurrected through a brain transplant and embarks on an eccentric adventure. In her story decorated with feminist narrative elements, examples of satire and sarcasm on socialism and British imperialism are abundantly displayed. Poor Things movie, Auteur directors who create postmodern worlds; It follows the works of Terry Gilliam, Wes Anderson, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet and takes the audience on a fantastic journey into a unique world.

Stars; Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, Christopher Abbott, Margaret Qualley, Emma Hindle, Vicki Pepperdine, Vivienne Soan, Hanna Schygulla, and Jerrod Carmichael.



As in the Bildungsroman genre, which is a novel genre in German literature that deals with the formation period of the individual and the ideal state she reaches at the end, in this movie, we see the mental development of the character Bella Baxter. This brings us to Polish sociologist and philosopher Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of Liquid Modernity. In his book Liquid Modernity, Bauman offers a brilliant analysis of the changing conditions of social and political life. Bauman; “The phenomenon called postmodernism, which I prefer to call more aptly ‘Liquid Modernity’, is increasingly clear evidence that the only constant changes and the only certainty is uncertainty.” He says that being “post-” of something is an integral part of modernity.  Also in addition Bauman states in his book that what the Age of Enlightenment dreamed of and what Marx promised was freedom. In the movie, we see that freedom is what motivates the character Bella Baxter and enables her to go on an adventure.



-Color is strikingly used to symbolize the main character’s progression during the movie. The beginning is black and white. Babies do not see colors until around 4 months of age, reflecting the underdeveloped brain of Bella. It also overlaps with the scenes where Bella is still under Godwin’s curfew, symbolizing her lack of freedom. Once color starts to be used in the movie, it progresses from the vibrant Lisbon and dramatic sky during the cruise, to a less saturated wintery Paris, ending up with very realistic colors in London during the final scenes. This reflects the way the child sees the world on her way to maturity.

-The sleeves on Bella’s wedding dress were roughly a meter wide.

-Director Yorgos Lanthimos received an eight-minute standing ovation at the world premiere during the 2023 Venice Film Festival.




BAUMAN. Zygmunt, Liquid Modernity (Akışkan Modernite), Sinan Okan Çavuş, translate, Istanbul: Tellekt Yayınları press, 2023

BAUMAN. Zygmunt, Liquid Modernity, Polity Press, 2000



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