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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Poor Things was an incredibly brilliant film with an eclectic set of characters and visuals

One+of+the+movie+posters+for+Poor+Things%2C+starring+Emma+Stone.
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One of the movie posters for Poor Things, starring Emma Stone.

When walking into the movie theater, I knew next to nothing about the movie Poor Things.

My prior knowledge of the movie consisted of these three facts:

  1. The movie stars Emma Stone as Bella Baxter, Mark Ruffalo as Duncan Wedderburn, and Willem Dafoe as Dr. Godwin Baxter. 
  2. The movie has an Oscar Nomination for Best Picture and many others.
  3. There is a dancing scene in the movie with Bella and Duncan.

Fact number three is what truly drew me into the movie. Yes, I love Emma Stone, and yes, the fact that the film has been nominated for many prestigious awards is impressive, but I kept seeing this particular scene in an ad on TikTok. The strange music, coupled with the erratic movements of Stone and Ruffalo, mesmerized me, and I decided after watching the clip five times in a row that I was going to watch Poor Things and love it.

Stone does a wonderful job of portraying this struggle of an idealist such as Bella while also allowing her to create her own path and steer away from social normalities in every way possible.”

For context, the film Poor Things is set in Victorian London and based on the novel published in 1992 by Alasdair Gray. In the story—which is a modern retelling of Frankenstein—a young woman by the name of Bella Baxter gets resurrected by scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter after having committed suicide. To successfully bring her back to life, Dr. Baxter has to replace her brain with the brain of an infant. 

Throughout the film, we get to watch as Bella relearns the ways of the world and discovers both the good and bad of every situation. Stone does such a fantastic job of portraying an infant in a grown woman’s body. From the way that she walks to the way she talks and acts, it is uncanny how similar it is to how babies and toddlers act. It was especially fascinating to watch how Stone’s verbal and body language progresses throughout the movie as Bella is exposed to more of the real world. Stone is such a versatile actor, so it was incredibly entertaining to see her in the role of Bella, where she says anything that comes to mind without hesitation, brewing up a great comedy.

A fact that I did not know going into the movie (but wished I did) was the extent of how rated R it was. While I did know its rating, I did not expect it to be that rated R, if you “catch my drift” (movie reference). However, looking past the horrified facial expressions of my friends and me, we were still able to greatly enjoy and appreciate the film in all of its brilliance.

One of my favorite aspects of Poor Things is the cinematography. In the beginning portion of the movie, it was almost completely in black and white. I loved this because it reflected how Bella had yet to see the world without the filter that Dr. Baxter gave it. The second that she is out on her own and discovering the world, it switches to vibrant colors. 

When Bella first sets out on her own, the visuals of the cities she visits look incredibly fake, almost as if she is living in some sort of fantasy. I was absolutely fascinated by this because it showed how Bella, with the brain of a child, was viewing the world as if it were straight out of a fairytale. As she learned more and more about what the world had to offer her and as she became more mature, the visuals became more realistic. 

Another aspect of Poor Things that I adored was Bella’s wardrobe. Holly Waddington, the costume designer for the film, was able to add a contemporary and eclectic twist to traditional Victorian clothing. The bright colors and huge, puffy sleeves simply add to Bella’s quirks and perfectly reflect her disposition. Throughout the entire movie, I was gawking over the clothes and how fitting they were for the film.

Most importantly, I loved the overarching ideas of Poor Things. As Bella sets off on her own with the accompaniment of stranger Duncan Wedderburn, she discovers that the world is not the fairytale that she had once pictured it as. Men begin to pine after her and sexualize her while she is simply trying to live. Of course, Stone does a wonderful job of portraying this struggle of an idealist such as Bella while also allowing her to create her own path and steer away from social normalities in every way possible. It was such an inspiring message and was depicted without a single flaw.

While I may have walked into the movie theater knowing almost nothing about Poor Things, I was right about loving it. From the production value to the plot itself, Poor Things did not fail to impress me. It was a brilliant film that—while incredibly strange at times—I loved every second of.

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About the Contributor
Sofia Hargis-Acevedo, Editor-in-Chief
Sofia is a senior entering her fourth and final year writing for The Central Trend. She has grown up a writer and cannot picture herself as anything but. Along with writing, she keeps herself busy by dancing. She has been leaping across the stage since the ripe age of two, and she is currently on the FHCVDT. For Sofia, endings are bittersweet. And as she approaches her final moments walking the halls of FHC, she will try her hardest to leave her legacy within the words she writes—the words that contain her heart. Her favorite book: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller Her go-to dessert: a piping hot brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream Her favorite season: Fall, without a doubt fall Has she gotten over her fear of birds after three years? Nope!

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