Emma Stone and Oscar nominee Yorgos Lanthimos are familiar figures to many. If not their names, then the films they collaborated on such as The Favorite. Both are currently causing a stir in Hollywood, given that the successful actress and famous Greek director are on the cusp of making a new one together.
Hollywood applauded when the news broke that Emma Stone would appear once again in Lanthimos’s twenty-first production entitled And. It will the actress’s fourth with the Athens born movie maker.
The Favorite was released in 2018. In early 2022, the star then appearedin the short film Bleat, which the GNO and NEO programs commissioned for The Artist on the Composers. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation supported the two with a grant for the project, which officially premiered on May 6th. The actress will feature in the full length production Poor Things, to be released in 2023, as well.
According to Collider magazine, the writer, director, and producer has additionally called on actor Joe Alwyn a second time to perform together with Stone in the upcoming picture.
Yorgos Lanthimos’s past successes
It’s true that there are younger people making films, and there are different kinds of films. This has created some attention in what’s coming out of Greece, and people like to find a way to name this new ethnic cinema. It’s not like there’s a movement, or a common philosophy in making these films. They’re just things that happened, and now people are paying attention to it.
That is Lanthimos’s introduction on his official website. His past successes include: editor for O Viasmos Tis Hlois (1995), an acting role in Attenberg (2010), Alps (2011), Necktie (2013), The Lobster (2015), The Killing of a Sacred Dear (2017), The Favorite (2018), and Nimic (2019).
Lanthimos was born in Pangrati, Athens in 1973. The former basketball player for Pangrati Basketball Club initially studied business administration. He soon dropped his university studies to enroll at the Hellenic Cinema and Television School Stavrakos in the country’s capital city, however. The rest, one might say, was cinematic history.
Critically acclaimed films
The Killing of a Sacred Dear and The Favorite, which gained Lanthimos a European film award in 2019, are examples of some of his best and most successful films at the box office. The first grossed $2.29 million and the second $34.37 million.
Both also received exceptional critical reviews in the film industry as well as on media. About The Killing of a Sacred Dear, starring Colin Farrell, the Los Angeles Times wrote:
It’s sensationally well made, close to Kubrickian in its visual and sonic precision. It is also, to these eyes, an increasingly and dispiritingly empty provocation as it goes on. By the end of a tediously protracted second act that might as well be called “Slogtooth,” all suspense, hilarity and genuine horror have long since been drained away…The result is pretty much pure, unfiltered Lanthimos—and in the future I think I’ll take him impure and filtered, thank you very much.
Regarding The Favorite, Variety magazine said of his work:
Shooting a lot of this flawlessly period film on 6mm fisheye lenses, Yorgos found a way, that doesn’t feel like a “way” at all, to shoot this austere story with stinging freshness. To call it “modern” is obvious, but the awesome paradox here is that it feels both hyper-modern and absolutely period at the same time. It is camera obscura, realized. It’s Vermeer moving.
With his two films, the director seems certain to continue down that same critically acclaimed path.
The director’s future ones
Lanthimos has two films premiering next year. One is Poor Things, an adaption of Alasdair Gray’s book, which has been described as “a Victorian Tale of love, discovery and scientific daring,” according to Slamfilm magazine. The other is And.
Both have excited fans and critics in the world of cinema even though the director has kept details of the storyline to himself. What Hollywood does know is the cast and crew involved in his latest picture.
Along with Emma Stone and John Alwyn, William Dafoe will take part in the film as well. Moreover, the Athenian movie maker has added Margaret Qualley, who reached fame for her performance in Maid, to the cast.
The list remains focused on a small core of individuals whose work Lanthimos knows well from his own or that of others. Yet as Slashfilm remarked:
Fans can expect nothing short of magnetic performances from them. If there’s anything we’ve learned from Lanthimos’s movies, it is that no film of his is straightforward. His quirky brand of cinema is only to benefit from a group of actors who sink their teeth into every role they take on.
If so, then it appears Emma Stone is a member. As previously mentioned, with the most recent ones, she will already have worked with the Greek cinematographer four times.
As for those behind And, Lanthimos has chosen to collaborate once more with Element Pictures, Searchlight and Film Four, with whom he worked on both The Favourite and Poor Things. The latter will be the second film to premier in the near future.
Slamfilm also quoted Davide Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield, the two presidents of Searchlight Pictures, as having said that the film is “a truly original project that sets [Lanthimos’] work apart.”
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