One of the most critically acclaimed films in competition at the 80th Venice Film Festival, The Poor Man by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos was screened on Friday 1 September to a standing ovation and eight minutes of applause. Emma Stone, the main character of the film, was especially appreciated not only for her interpretation, but also for her “fearless” sex scenes, according to the British newspaper The Independent.

The actress and her co-stars, including Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo, did not attend the Venice Film Festival, as did many other actors who did not attend due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA union strike in Hollywood involving actors and screenwriters. During the film’s press conference, director Lanthimos told reporters that Emma Stone “given her all in the film’s scenes without hesitation”, stating, “It was very important to me not to make the film humble, because it felt like a total betrayal of the protagonist.” We had to be sure that Emma was not ashamed of her body, for her nudity, for participating in these scenes, and she immediately understood this.

In a four-star review of the film, also published by the Independent, critic Geoffrey McNab wrote: “It will be interesting to see if ‘Poor Man’ becomes an Oscar contender. It may seem too provocative and bizarre for more mainstream tastes, but it’s an exquisitely crafted film.”

Tags: Poor Man, Emma Stone, Venice Film Festival