I keep saying to Lainey that this awards season feels one million years long, but this awards season feels one million years long. 


The whole schedule is thrown off because some stuff, like the Emmys, shifted their traditional date due to the strikes last year (Dune: Part Two’s press tour devouring so much pop culture real estate isn’t helping, either), but consider this my plea that awards season wrap up by the end of February at the latest. Like, baseball should not extend past October 31, and the Oscars should be done by February 28. I feel very strongly about this. Anyway, the latest in this interminable awards season is Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos sharing a cover profile for Variety this week, all about their creative partnership.


The profile, written by Stephen Roderick, opens by comparing Stone and Lanthimos to the legendary comedic pairing of Mike Nichols and Elaine May, which is hyperbolic, to say the least. Not to say they haven’t done great work together—The Favourite is a great film, and I like Poor Things more than some people (though as I was doing my year-end voting, I realized it’s not one of my favorite films of 2023). But Nichols and May? Please. They literally defined comedy for generations of comedians and writers. Stone and Lanthimos have made two feature films that have been released to date, let’s see where else they go before we get all “Nichols and May” about it.

Poor Things is Oppenheimer’s biggest challenger at the Oscars, with 11 nominations to their 13, and this interview focuses on Lanthimos’s lengthy rehearsal process, the practical nature of Poor Things, with its giant built sets and fluid camerawork, and the “Emma as muse” thread seems to directly counter Cillian Murphy and Christopher Nolan’s long collaborative relationship. It’s a narrative that meets Oppenheimer point-for-point on the “we really did it” level of talking about filmmaking (Barbie has a similar narrative, too, but it’s not being taken as seriously as these two films). 



They also bring up Stone’s friend Taylor Swift, of course, and how her comment at the Golden Globes about Swift being “an asshole” got taken out of context by some Swifties (I genuinely wonder what celebrities think of their humorless fans), and they talk about Mark Ruffalo, who is also nominated for Poor Things. I wish they talked about his accent in the film, because it lowkey amazes me how many people think he’s doing a “bad” accent, as in, failing to do a good one, and not trying to sound bad on purpose. 


He’s playing a buffoon, and he has a buffoonish voice. In a film with so many deliberate style choices, you think Lanthimos is letting an entire accent slide? They do talk about Stone’s accent in The Favourite, and how Lanthimos had to get English people to weigh in on Stone’s accent, since as a native Greek speaker, he couldn’t determine if her English accent was good or not. All the more reason to assume Ruffalo’s accent is a choice and not a failure—Lanthimos IS thinking about this stuff.

It probably says something about me and/or Poor Things that the most interesting bit of the interview is right at the end, when speaking about animals included in his films Lanthimos says, “I find it weird that sometimes we are more worried about them than other humans.” I just said to Lainey that it’s getting to where I simply cannot watch animal cruelty on screen. I’ll happily watch John Wick mow down 400 people in the streets of Europe, but one dead dog or cat and I’m out. (I skip the first 15 minutes of John Wick every time.) Now, instead of thinking about Poor Things and Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos’s creative partnership, I’m just worried about where Lanthimos, who makes f-cked up movies, might go with this interest in animals. I am afraid of this man!