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Cannes 2024: Yorgos Lanthimos tortures Emma Stone in an ultra-grinding comedy

The shock of Yorgos Lanthimos

Just enough time to cash in Poor creaturescrowned above all with the Golden Lion at the 2023 Venice Film Festival and four Oscars including that of best actress for Emma Stone, here is Yorgos Lanthimos returning to the 2024 Cannes Film Festival with Types of kindnessworn in particular by his favorite actress Emma Stone.

Yorgos Lanthimos is a director of inadequacy, suffering and their limits. If inside Poor creatures has pushed its formal and visual limits on these themes by exploiting different cinematic genres with a very ambitious artistic direction, has an opposite vision of this momentum in Types of kindnessoffering three distinct stories in one great dirty, cruel and essentially realistic tragicomedy, three segments of black cinema whose general comic line gradually deviates towards the tragic.

Three films in one

The film, whose title could be translated as Treatise on the various benevolences, is a contemporary human comedy, set in three locations in the United States. The cast remains the same for all three stories, but the characters are never the same. Willem Dafoe, Jesse Plemons, Margaret Qualley, Emma Stone and Hong Chau make up the main cast of the three stories.

Types of kindness
Types of Kindness © Searchlight Pictures

In the first, an architect, played by Jesse Plemons, victim of the enormous influence of a manipulative narcissistic pervert (Willem Dafoe) ends up committing the irreparable to regain the good graces of his predator. In the second, a police officer, also Jesse Plemons, finds his wife (Emma Stone) after she, an oceanographer, survives the fatal sinking of his boat. Except that he is convinced that she is not his wife, but someone else. In this story, the fantastic plays a role. In the third and final story, a woman (Emma Stone), member of a strange sect, seeks on her orders the woman who has the power to resurrect the dead, and whom she saw in a dream. Here the fantastic takes on importance.

The Yorgos Lanthimos – Emma Stone duo without limits

Types of kindness at the beginning it is very funny, intelligent and perfectly realized in its comic situations, before the laughter passes through pure black humor, and then ends up in another indefinable color. In curated interiors, offices and homes that couldn’t be more realistic, we witness the pleasure in the direction of the actors, in the writing and performances of brilliant actors, with dry editing and cold cinematography.

In this film, Yorgos Lanthimos seems to wink at his colleague Ruben Östlund, with his harsh description of a human society in which individuals willy-nilly indulge their worst inclinations. Like his Swedish colleague, the Greek director loves to push the limits and explode common morality. But he does so here to an extent that becomes disturbing.

Types of kindness
Types of Kindness © Searchlight Pictures

In Types of kindness, Emma Stone delivers an extraordinary triple performance. The American actress is one of the best of her generation and has found in Yorgos Lanthimos the cinema that will perhaps make her better. Since then their collaboration has been a resounding success The favoriteand takes on a new intensity in this new film.

The three characters he plays all have a very strong antagonism and pay the consequences. In this comedy, it should be noted that what happens to the actress does not belong to the comic register of the film. Rather, Jesse Plemons and Willem Dafoe support this line, while Emma Stone and Margaret Qualley support the tragedy that will eventually submerge Types of kindness. And in proportions that may raise questions. Indeed, humiliated, naked, injured, self-killed, we can see Emma Stone and Margaret in the sex tape of a quartet, then one removes an organ, and yet the other dives headfirst into an empty swimming pool. Without indulging graphically, there is an obvious and monumental perversity Types of kindnesswhich makes it a very successful film.

A toothed freewheel

Some motifs recur. The feet in particular. Even the couple. Types of kindness it is made up of three distinct stories, but a coherence and an idea begin to reveal themselves, without fully giving themselves. In particular, based on this idea, we can observe that male and female casting evolve in opposite directions.

First Jesse Plemons and Willem Dafoe take center stage, then the second story ties, before the last one has almost more views than Emma Stone, Margaret Qualley and Hong Chung. And this evolution corresponds to the transformation of the comic and the violent into the tragic and the morbid.

It’s brilliant and it’s even better than Poor creatures because finer, more sincere, more aggressive, blacker. Excellent comedy of terrible darkness that will intoxicate as much as the riot, Types of kindness is one of Yorgos Lanthimos’ best films and has every chance in competing for the best prizes at the Cannes competition. If, however, he is freewheeling, his appreciation for minimal decorum does not hinder him.

Source: Cine Serie

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