Yorgos Lanthimos’ Favorite Films: 8 Films the ‘Poor Things’ Director Wants You to See

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Who would have ever thought the guy who directed a movie about Colin Farrell possibly turning into a Lobster would become an Oscar darling? But in spite of all the taboos he’s determined to break, that’s exactly the career trajectory Yorgos Lanthimos has had.

An idiosyncratic filmmaker, Lanthimos’ filmmaking quirks — stilted speech, deadpan acting, painstakingly framed cinematography, and pessimistic stories about the cruelty of men, both on a singular and societal level — haven’t disappeared since he made the leap to Hollywood. But the Greek director has slowly found himself an awards season staple. After a Best Foreign Language Film nomination for his breakout “Dogtooth” and a screenplay nod for his English-language debut “The Lobster,” Lanthimos ended up with ten nominations at the Oscars in 2019 for his darkly comedic period drama “The Favourite.” An acidic and subversive love story about the rule of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and her scheming court favorites, Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone), the film earned Colman the Best Actress trophy, while Lanthimos earned Director and Screenplay nods.

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Lanthimos seems poised to return to the Oscars in 2024 with a bang. His newest film, “Poor Things,” re-teams him with Stone for the oddball tale of a young Victorian woman resurrected by a mad scientist, who runs away from her maker to pursue her own self-discovery and sexual awakening. The movie debuted at Venice Film Festival to critical applause, winning the Golden Lion at the conclusion of the festival, and award prognosticators have heavily pegged the film as a frontrunner for this upcoming Oscar season. Should Lanthimos’ creative partnership with Stone remain fruitful for their next collaboration, anthology “Kind of Kindness,” expect to keep hearing the Greek auteur’s name mentioned on the Oscar stage for some time.

As you might expect from such a singular filmmaker, Lanthimos has an eclectic taste. His favorite films range from mainstream popcorn thrillers like “The Bourne Ultimatum” to cult classics like “Possession.” For more modern films, he’s publicly sung the praises of the Safdie brothers’ acclaimed 2019 drama “Uncut Gems” numerous times. And, in his current costume drama era of filmmaking, he’s taken significant inspiration from subversive period dramas of the past, drawing on “Crimes and Whispers,” “The Draughtsman’s Contract,” and “Amadeus,” while making “The Favourite.”

With “Poor Things” hitting theaters, IndieWire decided to compile some of the films Lanthimos has publicly mentioned as favorites (or should we say favourites?) and inspirations over the years. Read on for our list of eight films Lanthimos enjoys, listed in no particular order.

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