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December 8, 2023

At the Movies: In ‘Poor Things,' Emma Stone takes an unusual path to enlightenment

AP Film Writer

It is sickly hilarious to make a movie in which so much consensual sex is had, often so gleefully, that is not the least bit sexy. Though Bella Baxter's insatiable libido might be her guiding light at first in “Poor Things,” sexual liberation (or “furious jumping,” as she calls it) is only part of this fantastical, anarchic journey to consciousness.

Filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos and his star, Emma Stone, have a good and strange thing going whether she's playing a striving scullery maid who works her way into the favor of Queen Anne, or a re-animated Victorian woman finding independence. Stone helps make his black humor more accessible, and he creates unorthodox opportunities for her to play and stretch. We, the audience, are the benefactors.

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