Matt’s (Movie) Reviews: Poor Things

Poor Things movie poster

Poor Things is currently streaming on Hulu, and it’s also available for sale on Amazon and other locations.  You might find it in limited post-Oscar release in some theaters as well. It’s based on the book, Poor Things by Alistair Gray. I haven’t read that (yet) so I can’t comment on how close or far the movie may stray from the book, but I can say, this is a unique and wonderful movie. Emma Stone won the Oscar for her performance in this film, and she definitely earned the golden statue. This is a beautiful, ugly, sexy, intelligent and just plain weird movie: part Frankenstein, part coming-of-age story, part steam punk, part philosophical inquiry. It definitely earns its “R” rating with a lot of sexual activity and profanity. At first it appears this sex and nudity might be gratuitous, but it is not. It is integral to the story.  Still, if you are easily offended by such things, then give this a pass.
I am not a huge movie buff, and movie reviews are not my forte. I don’t know all the appropriate terms, but I do like a good story, more importantly I like an interesting experience. This movie was visually stunning as it moves through the universe it creates. It moves from black and white to bright contrasting colors and back again. The sets and costumes are extraordinary and put you in this alternate world. It is worth watching just to experience the visual wonder of this universe, and the acting is first rate (Oscar worthy), and so is the story. It’s entertaining and thought provoking. I enjoyed this movie as I was watching it, and I enjoyed it even more as I thought about it afterwards.
I hesitate to tell to much about the story as it changes and moves and grows along with Bella Baxter, the young woman played so well by Emma Stone. It seems a metaphor for the arc of a human life. She moves through different experiences and has different ‘teachers’ along the way. There is much to learn in life and perhaps one of the biggest lessons is that there is always more to learn. Pleasure and pain, affluence and poverty, beauty and ugliness, ignorance and understanding. Ultimately, everything is something to learn, and something to experience. You can choose to accept the experiences and grow from them or let them overwhelm you.
If you want a unique movie, a thought provoking story, a beautiful vision, amazing performances, and just a generally weird 2 hours and 20 minutes, give Poor Things a try.
And then read a book not quite as far outside our world, but perhaps a bit thought-provoking as well. Plastivore, by Matt Truxaw
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