Today we take on ‘Poor Things’, the latest film from director Yorgos Lanthimos. It stars Emma Stone as a Victorian woman whose brain is replaced with that of her unborn baby. She embarks on a sexual journey of self-discovery through Europe and beyond. The film is a critical darling, with 11 Oscar nominations, but unsurprisingly, it left many viewers feeling uneasy. Lilah invites FT arts editor Jan Dalley and HTSI editor Jo Ellison to talk through it: is it an empowering exploration of a woman’s sexual freedom or an uninspiring male gaze fantasy?


We love hearing from you. Lilah is on Instagram @lilahrap and we’re on X @lifeandartpod. You can email us at We are grateful for reviews, on Apple, Spotify, etc.


Links (all FT links get you past the paywall):

Poor Things is in theatres now

– You can read the FT’s three-star review of Poor Things, by film critic Danny Leigh here:

– The FT’s Raphael Abraham also wrote a review of Poor Things – and gave it five stars:

– The article we mentioned, with 14 critics’ perspectives on the film, is here:

– Jo is on X @joellison and Instagram @jellison22

More or less:

– Jo wants to see more of Harris Dickinson, who is in The Iron Claw (out now), and Triangle of Sadness

– Jan wants to see more funding for the arts, and for artists to be given more creative freedom

– Lilah wants better, more concentrated travel reviews, and Oaxaca tips! (You can write to her on Instagram)


Special FT subscription offers for Life and Art podcast listeners, from 50% off a digital subscription to a $1/£1/€1 trial, are here:


Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco. Clip courtesy of Searchlight

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