Emma Stone has addressed the feedback surrounding her latest film, ‘Poor Things,’ amidst claims of sexism and exploitation. The Oscar-nominated flick follows Stone in the role of Bella Baxter, a deceased character revived by a rather eccentric scientist in Victorian-era London.
Bella’s peculiar resurrection involves implanting the brain of an unborn child into her head, leading her on a rather unconventional journey of self-discovery, including aspects of sexuality.
Critics have raised concerns over the film’s portrayal of consent, given Bella’s unique circumstance of possessing the brain of an unborn child. Additionally, the fact that the film is helmed by male director Yorgos Lanthimos has sparked debates about potential sexist undertones.
Addressing these criticisms in an interview with The Times, Stone offered her perspective, stating, “As the person who portrayed and produced the character, I didn’t perceive Bella as a child in any of those sequences.” Lanthimos chimed in, emphasizing the importance of not interpreting the film too literally. He suggested that dissecting the story solely based on the child’s brain aspect misses the broader storytelling intent.
Stone further delved into the challenges of navigating critiques in the era of social media. She shared an insightful analogy from her mum about the evolution of relationships, likening it to how perceptions of films can shift over time. “At the beginning, it’s all ‘we’re so in love we finish each other’s sentences,’” Stone explained. “But as time goes on, it can turn into, ‘You’re always interrupting me.’”
Drawing parallels, she reflected on how audiences’ interpretations of films can vary widely, especially with a complex narrative like ‘Poor Things.’ Some viewers perceive it as a heartwarming romantic comedy, while others find themselves watching through their fingers, overwhelmed by its intensity.