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The Crack Magazine

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Kinds of Kindness

Director: Jorgos Lanthimos

Stars: Jesse Plemons, Emma Stone, Wilem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Joe Alwyn

Following the raucous steampunk fantasia that was 'Poor Things', director Jorgos Lanthimos returns, partially, to his austere and formalist Greek Weird Wave roots with this absurdist triptych in which he uses the same cast members to play different characters. In the first Jesse Plemons is a meek salaryman who lets his boss (Dafoe) dictate every aspect of his life, inside work and out. Plemons also appears in the middle part as a cop grieving over the disappearance of his wife (Stone). When she does return however she seems drastically different to the extent he expresses doubts that it is in fact her. In the concluding and most patience-taxing segment, Stone plays a woman who joins a cult ran by a creepy oddball (Dafoe) who instructs her to track down an individual with supernatural powers. Unpleasantness ensues. Lanthimos reunites with his ‘Dogtooth’ co-writer Efthimis Filippou for an often frustratingly oblique and, at nearly three hours, overlong study of control and acquiescence with ‘Poor Things’ composer Jerskin Fendrix’s discordant score adding to the atmosphere of discomfort and disorientation. Plemons is reliably brilliant and the fearless Stone, building on her extraordinarily kinetic performance in ‘Poor Things’, continues to push boundaries.

David Willoughby

Follow David on Twitter @DWill_Crackfilm

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