The film is widely considered as the frontrunner in next year’s Oscar race.
Poor Things is the dramatic psychological fantasia from award-winning film maverick Yorgos Lanthimos, whose previous film, The Favourite, nabbed 10 nominations in the 2019 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actress. The Favourite won the Oscar for lead star Olivia Colman over predicted winner Glenn Close.
On November 17, QCinema International Film Festival will debut Lanthimos’ Poor Things in the region as its opening film.
Film review aggregator Rottentomatoes gives this description about the movie, which won the Golden Lion award for Best Film in this year’s Venice Film Festival, based on the consensus of critic reviews: “Wildly imaginative and exhilaratingly over the top, Poor Things is a bizarre, brilliant tour de force for director Yorgos Lanthimos and star Emma Stone.”
It’s about the “incredible tale and fantastical evolution of Bella Baxter (Stone), a young woman brought back to life by the brilliant and unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Under Baxter’s protection, Bella is eager to learn. Hungry for the worldliness she is lacking, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), a slick and debauched lawyer, on a whirlwind adventure across the continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, Bella grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation.”
Stone has already won a Best Actress Oscar for the 2016 musical drama La La Land, and is seen as the one to beat in next year’s race for Poor Things.
Last year’s QCinema festival, it’s 10th edition that was creatively billed as IN10CITY, had a coup when it hosted the SEA premiere of the sociopolitical comedy Triangle of Sadness. At the time the movie had already won several international honors including the much-coveted Palme d’Or prize for Best Film at the Cannes Film Festival held in May and it went on to score three major nominations from the Oscars including Best Picture.
The screening was graced by the film’s breakout star, our very own Dolly de Leon, who had already received wide critical acclaim for her role on her way to winning several high-profile nominations including those for Best Supporting Actress from the Golden Globes and the British Academy of Film and Television Awards.
While there won’t be a guest appearance in the mold or level of onscreen star Dolly de Leon in this year’s festival, QCinema 2023, which carries Elevated as theme, will also have a stellar, or even more notable, lineup of films.
60 movies at QCinema
Aside from Poor Things, the 10-day movie fest features over 60 other titles, divided in 10 sections, including three competitions.
Its main competition section, the Asian Next Wave, has 10 directorial debuts from Asian filmmakers. The section includes Cannes, Venice, and Udine award-winners and two Oscar entries.
“QCIFF is the launching pad for the most exciting new filmmakers for the Asian & SEA region,” notes festival director Ed Lejano. “People have come to expect the best of world cinema and new titles from A-list festivals that have won recent awards.”
Among these titles are: The Taste of Things, France’s Oscar entry for Best International Feature Film, which will be the Closing Film of the festival; Abang Adik, winner of the Golden Mulberry audience award, the Black Dragon Critics’ prize, and the Best First Feature trophy at the Udine’s Far East Film Festival: Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell, the Caméra d’Or or Best Feature Film at Cannes; Love Is A Gun, the first Taiwanese film to win the Best First Feature award at the Venice International Film Festival; and, Tiger Stripes, the 2023 Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week Grand Prize winner.
“We have something for all film lovers in our past 11 years,” Lejano notes. It’s so true.