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Poor Things

Scientist Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe) has created Bella Baxter (Emma Stone) and built her world, but Bella – half child, half adult woman – becomes an explorer herself as well as a revolutionary who defies convention.

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The world of Bella Baxter (an unstoppable Emma Stone) is filled with fascinating details. There are embroidered reliefs made of snow white silk on the walls. On the ceiling, stucco forms an image of two intertwined ears. On the floors, there are inlays of different colored marble create patterns and creatures. Bella Baxter is in the process of discovering this world which seems infinite. In addition, she learns slowly, very slowly, to use language and move her body. The creator and ruler of this world is “Daddy-God“ Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe), a mad, brilliant inventor marked by scars and wounds that were inflicted on him during the experiments of his father, who was also a mad, brilliant inventor.

Godwin Baxter is also the creator of Bella, and he hired diligent student Max McCandles (Ramy Youssef) to document the progress of his creation, the half adult woman, half unformed child. But Bella knows nothing about this. However, she does suspect that the world outside is bigger than the inventor’s house. The more she feels ownership over her body and language, the more pressing it is for her to explore this world. Godwin Baxter feared this moment, since Bella is blunt, impulsive, openhearted, not socially adept. When she wants something, she has the vehemence of a little child. BELLA WANTS! (She just discovered her sexuality. She enthusiastically shows housekeeper Mrs. Prim how you can masturbate with fruit at the table, until Max explains that you don’t do that “in polite society“). But no one can stop Bella. NO NOW NO NEVER!

When lawyer Duncan Wedderburn (shady and sexy: Mark Ruffalo) makes her a seedy offer, she goes traveling with him. POOR THINGS, based on the novel "Poor Things: Episodes from the Early Life of Archibald McCandless M.D., Scottish Public Health Officer" by Alasdair Gray, follows Bella on her expedition which will take her to Lisbon, the sea, Paris, and back to Scotland. The stations of the trip are as surreal and lovingly designed as Godwin’s steampunk estate. They are opulent places of pure fantasy, where airships parade against painted backgrounds and where either lavish luxury or abject misery reign. Bella discovers the joy of sex (which she calls “furious jumping“), gets to know polite society, meets a cynical philosopher and his worldly companion (Hannah Schygulla), sees cruelty and tries to help, discovers socialism, and works in a brothel.

Bella’s discovery of the world is a fantastic retro sci fi journey reminiscent of Meliès, Guy Maddin, and Antoni Gaudí. It’s a coming-of-age story, a philosophical treatise, a sound poem, and the story of an emancipation: time and again there are men who try to put barriers on Bella: first it’s Godwin Baxter out of “fatherly concern,“ then Duncan Wedderburn out of “passion,“ lastly her ex-husband comes out of the woodwork and equates marriage with prison. Time and again, the contested territory is her body, her self-determined, joyful sexuality, which she also asserts in the brothel. Her advantage is that she doesn’t know about the conventions that everyone around her were raised with. Her superpower is that she doesn’t care about them. She implodes the world around her because she is never ashamed of asking direct questions and saying what she thinks. No more, no less.

This connects Bella with her mentor Godwin and his assistant Max, with scientists and adventurers and revolutionaries of all time, because like them she is a discoverer, a finder, and a speaker of truth, no matter what it looks like. POOR THINGS takes you into a dream world that is breathtakingly designed - from the interiors to the intertitles to the costumes that fuse late 19th century fashion with futurism and feminism - but is essentially a plea for a courageous confrontation with the present, no matter what that may be.

Hendrike Bake (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

USA/Irland/Großbritannien 2023, 141 min
Genre: Science Fiction, Drama
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Author: Tony McNamara
DOP: Robbie Ryan
Montage: Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Distributor: Walt Disney Company
Cast: Emma Stone, Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, Margaret Qualley, Mark Ruffalo, Christopher Abbott, Jerrod Carmichael
Release: 18.01.2024

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Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
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  • OmU Original with German subtitles
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Poor Things

USA/Irland/Großbritannien 2023 | Science Fiction, Drama | R: Yorgos Lanthimos

Scientist Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe) has created Bella Baxter (Emma Stone) and built her world, but Bella – half child, half adult woman – becomes an explorer herself as well as a revolutionary who defies convention.

Screenings

Charlottenburg

Delphi LUX

Sunday 28.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/delphi-lux OmU21:00

Monday 29.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/delphi-lux OmU21:00

Wednesday 01.05.

TicketsReservation: https://www.yorck.de/kinos/delphi-lux OmU21:00

Friedrichshain

Kino Intimes

TODAY

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU14:15

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU20:30

Friday 26.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU14:15

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU20:30

Saturday 27.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU14:15

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU20:30

Sunday 28.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU14:15

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU20:30

Monday 29.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU14:15

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU20:30

Tuesday 30.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU14:15

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU20:30

Wednesday 01.05.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU14:15

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-intimes.de/tickets OmU20:30

Kreuzberg

Moviemento

TODAY

TicketsReservation: https://moviemento.de/ OmU21:30

Friday 26.04.

TicketsReservation: https://moviemento.de/ OmU21:30

Mitte

Central Hackescher Markt

TODAY

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-central.de/ OmU18:15

Friday 26.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-central.de/ OmU15:30

Saturday 27.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-central.de/ OmU18:00

Sunday 28.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-central.de/ OmU16:30

Monday 29.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-central.de/ OmU17:15

Tuesday 30.04.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-central.de/ OmU17:15

Wednesday 01.05.

TicketsReservation: https://www.kino-central.de/ OmU17:15

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