“Poor Things,” a gothic, sex-charged comedy directed by Greece’s Yorgos Lanthimos, won the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.
Starring Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, and Mark Ruffalo, the British-made film wowed festival-goers with its zany story of a woman reanimated after suicide by a mad doctor who replaces her brain with that of her unborn baby.
Childlike but with an adult’s body, Stone’s character Bella Baxter grows increasingly independent and excited by her sexual experimentations as she undertakes a voyage of self-discovery through a surreal version of 19th-century Europe.
“The central character is Bella Baxter, an incredible creature, and she would not exist without Emma Stone, another incredible creature,” said Lanthimos, whose previous films include “The Favourite” and “The Lobster.”
In an interview with Aimilios Harbis for Kathimerini, Lanthimos says “Sex is a very important part of life, not only for women but for everyone of any sexuality. Perhaps in this film, sex seems highlighted, because, for some reason, this is a taboo topic in modern cinema. On the contrary, it is acceptable to portray, e.g. severe violence. It is crucial for us in this field to not be conservative; otherwise, we would not be honest towards Bella and the spontaneous liberty she expresses with her body and her sexuality.”
Venice marks the start of the awards season and regularly throws up big favorites for the Oscars, with eight of the past 11 best director awards going to films that debuted here.
This article was previously published at ekathimerini.com.