Poor Things is the upcoming movie from Yorgos Lanthimos, arguably the most exciting director working in Hollywood today. The creator of The Favourite and The Lobster, his latest work is set for a release in January 2024 in the UK and December 2023 in the US (lucky!).
Emma Stone stars as a young girl resurrected in a Frankenstein-like manner by a mad scientist (well I'm assuming he's mad because he's played by Willem Dafoe). With rave reviews and a 97% Rotten Tomatoes score it looks set to be a massive cinematic hit. If you also can't wait, here are three movies to catch before its release, as well as which of the best streaming services to catch them on.
1. The Favourite
- Where? Disney+ (rent on Apple TV+ in the US)
- Stars: Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman
Another Yorgos Lanthimos creation, The Favourite stars the magnificent trio of Emma Stone (star of Poor Things), Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman. It's a perfect example of Lanthimos' unique style, deadpan humour and storytelling.
With Queen Anne (Colman) in ill health, the film follows Stone and Weisz competing to be the increasingly esoteric monarch's favourite consort, and essentially the true wielder of the throne's power. The two are not afraid to get dirty to disgrace the other and get the upper hand. It's a genuinely hilarious and disturbing movie that very much looks to match the tone of Poor Things.
Stone was actually offered the lead role in Poor Things while filming this movie and it makes sense. Her performance is exceptional, (and her British accent is actually really good) but so too are Colman and Weisz.
2. The Lighthouse
- Where? Buy or rent on Apple TV+ or Sky (Streaming on Fubo in the US)
- Stars: Robert Pattison, Willem Dafoe
Starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattison, The Lighthouse is a visually striking horror movie that I think has a similar vibe to the aesthetic of Poor Things. It's a beautifully artificial setup. The similarities don't end there. Much like Poor Things has clear influences from Frankenstein, The Lighthouse is based on the work of another 19th-century writer. Edgar Allen Poe.
Admittedly this is not a movie for the faint-hearted but it's so difficult not to get wrapped up in the central performances and overwhelming sense of eerieness throughout this movie. You just know it's not going to end well. We need more unique stories like this from Hollywood rather than just pumping out sequels to long-running franchises.
- Where? ITVX (Max in the US)
- Stars: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Dawn French
Neil Gaiman's iconic story also makes for a great movie. Coraline and Poor Things lead Bella both seem to have an excitement for the world and fresh eyes (not buttons) to take everything in.
Directed by The Nightmare Before Christmas' Henry Selick, Coraline is a spooky tale following the titular nine-year-old girl who discovers a portal to another world in her apartment. Coraline herself has an earnestness and inquisitive nature that is refreshing, but things are not quite right in the other dimension. Her mother is there, but not exactly the same as in our world.
If you've not read the book you're missing out, but even if you have, the movie is sufficiently different to be worth a watch.