For everyone Film review: Poor Things

With The Favourite, Greek New Wave filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos proved he could spin a grand yarn about powerful women, with Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone’s ladies-in-waiting tussling for the attentions of Olivia Colman’s Queen Anne.

Once again collaborating with Victorian (of the Australian kind) writer Tony McNamara, the director has turned his attentions to adapting Scottish author Alasdair Gray’s slippery novel about a dead woman, renamed Bella (Stone once more) who is reanimated, Frankenstein-like, by Willem Dafoe’s mad scientist Dr Godwin Baxter, transplanting her unborn child’s brain into her damaged head.

As soon as her childlike wonder gives way to feminist independence, she runs off with Mark Ruffalo’s lascivious cad Duncan Wedderburn (hilariously bad), leaving Godwin’s nice-but-dull assistant Max McCandless (Ramy Youssef) minus a bride.

The globe-hopping tall tale that follows is an absurdly extravagant cinematic feast, with Stone in fine form as a reborn woman with zero patience for the stupidity of a patriarchal society. Marvellously wild-hearted stuff.

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