Kinds of Kindness (2024) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Lanthimos can be hit or miss; when he's on, we get gems like The Favourite and Poor Things, but his more bizarre creations can lose the audience's interest.

Kinds of Kindness (2024) Review
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Writer/Director Yorgos Lanthimos has always been know to be somewhat offbeat with his film projects.  He also has been know to create quality movies utilizing Academy Award-winning actors.  Take, for example, his 2023 masterpiece, Poor Things, which starred Emma Stone (La La Land), Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man), and Mark Ruffalo (Avengers: Endgame) and was nominated for 11 Oscars, ultimately winning four.  He has a unique eye and a bizarre perspective that make his movies unusual and intriguing, which may not be for everyone.  He is a master of his craft so it seems only natural to be curious about his next project, this month's Kinds of Kindness.  

The first of three vignettes begins with Dafoe's Raymond controlling everything Robert, played by Jesse Plemons (The Irishman), does.  Raymond tells Robert what to wear, what to eat, who to sleep with, etc., and in return, Robert gets lavish gifts and Raymond's approval. However, when Robert defies Raymond he suddenly finds himself excommunicated from Raymond's life, that is, until he makes amends.

Vignette number two begins with a distraught Daniel (Plemons) because his wife (Stone) has been lost at sea for months.  When she is found alive and returns home Daniel senses something is off.  He proclaims she is not his wife but an imposter and makes her do awful things to herself to please him.

The final vignette is about two religious cult members, Emily (Stone) and Andrew (Plemons), searching for a woman who can supposedly bring the dead back to life.  During their search, Emily goes to her former home and is seen by her estranged husband and their young daughter.  When he invites her in, he drugs and rapes Emily leading the cult leaders to determine that she is "contaminated" and must leave the cult's compound.  Trying to get back in their good graces, Emily finds the young woman but accidentally kills her while bringing her back to the cult compound.  

What do these three stories have in common? Other than the cast, I have no idea.  No, they are all about individuals looking for acceptance and approval from someone.  They also all have one character threaded throughout who is called R.M.F. (Yorgos Stefanakos; Poor Things) but who doesn't seem to be of much significance.

Besides Stone, Dafoe, and Plemons, the cast also includes Hong Chau (The Menu), Margaret Qualley (Once Upon A Time in Hollywood), Joe Alwyn (Mary Queen of Scots), and Mamoudou Athie (The Front Runner).  Few directors could put together such a talented cast as this one but Lanthimos, much like Wes Anderson (Asteroid City), is capable of doing so and gives each one of them their opportunity to shine.  It is difficult to single out one member of the group but for this film, it would have to go to Plemons, who plays three distinct characters and disappears into each one.

Described as a Comedy/Drama, one would be hard-pressed to find most of the comedy in Kinds of Kindness.  At a two-hour and forty-four minute run time, the film dragged at points and was a little bit too long.  I sometimes lost interest in the story or characters and at other points, I wondered what was the point.

Lanthimos can be hit or miss and when he is on, we get fantastic movies like The Favourite and Poor Things but when he creates something incredibly bizarre it is easy to lose interest, which is what can easily happen with Kinds of Kindness.  Lanthimos also tends to weave weird sexual scenarios throughout his films and this one is no different.  His obsession with sex is, in and of itself, bizarre.

Ultimately, Kinds of Kindness didn't have much kindness woven through it.  Rather it was individuals manipulating other, vulnerable individuals and I didn't see much to laugh about in those cases.

Grade: D+

Cast:
Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 164 minutes
Distributed By: Searchlight Pictures


For more information about Kinds of Kindness visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Kinds of Kindness 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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