Poor Things (2023) Blu-ray Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Discover 'Poor Things': A unique blend of bizarre ideas and imaginative storytelling, delivering an entertaining film with top-notch acting and production.

Just over two hundred years ago, Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, was first published, instantly becoming a success. In the past few centuries, the novel has influenced several current writers, including Alasdair Gray, who in 1992 produced a novel called, Poor Things, about a doctor in Victorian London who performs a groundbreaking surgery. The book won a Whitbread Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize. At the 80th Venice Film Festival in September of 2023, a cinematic production of the novel premiered to wide success and Searchlight Pictures has recently released it for home entertainment purchase.

Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe; The Florida Project) is known for his experimental surgeries so when a young, pregnant woman commits suicide the body is brought to him where he proceeds to transplant the fetus's brain into that of the dead mother, who he names Bella (Emma Stone; La La Land). Bella, despite physically being a fully grown woman, goes through the stages of human development from fine motor skills to language and proper etiquette. Growing increasingly rebellious, Bella decides to leave with a lawyer named Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo; The Avengers) to travel the world.

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer), Poor Things has an almost dreary and depressed hue to it until the very end of the movie. Some of this can be attributed to the black-and-white color scheme that turns to muted color tones as the film progresses. The design is so unique it is almost difficult to describe but it has styling that one could say has that of a steampunk movie with metal and mechanical parts strewn throughout the sets and costumes.

The cast is brilliant from top to bottom so it isn't difficult to comprehend that Poor Things would be nominated for several Oscars including those for acting for Stone and Ruffalo. Stone takes on the challenge of literally mentally aging before our eyes for two hours and Ruffalo takes on a different character than what we have seen from him in the past. As much as I enjoy him as the timid, somewhat standoffish, and shy persona he brings to many of his most well-known roles, he does an excellent job portraying the roguish man bent on taking advantage of Bella only to be driven mad by her in the end.

The technical aspects of the Blu-ray combo pack are strong making one almost long for a 4K/Dolby Atmos version instead. The 1080p resolution picks up fine details from the smallest objects of the set dressings to the beautiful yet incredibly unique costumes. Dr. "God" Baxter's facial scars are also easily discernible by the naked eye proving the makeup team's ability to create detailed visual effects.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is solid with ambient noise coming from various speakers all around the room. The dialogue sits front and center but is never overpowered by the soundtrack or the surrounding noises. The combo pack comes with a Digital Download and the Blu-ray Disc which houses, not only the film but, the extras as well. Sadly, said extras are limited to two including Possessing Beauty - The Making of Poor Things and Deleted Things.

While Poor Things is not going to be everyone's cup of tea - as ideas that are bizarre and "stretch the imagination" rarely are - it is nonetheless an entertaining and enjoyable film that is both well-made technically and well-acted. Perhaps its one flaw is that it isn't as humorous as the filmmakers intended it to be but when taken with a grain of salt, Poor Things is most definitely an Oscar-worthy film.

Grade: A-


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For more information about Poor Things visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Poor Things images are courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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