Kinds of Kindness Review: Yorgos Lanthimos’ Daring Cannes 2024 Film Experience

Kinds of Kindness Review: Yorgos Lanthimos' Daring Cannes 2024 Film Experience

The Cannes Festival’s 77th session’s share of Greek films is limited to one film entitled “Kinds of Kindness” by its creative director, Yorgos Lanthimos, who returns to the French film festival for the fourth time with screenwriter Efthymis Philippou, with whom he co-writes most of his films. He already won numerous Academy Awards, six months ago for the release of the movie Poor Things. Now, he shines in the Cannes festival with the Kinds of Kindness. The star cast of Kinds of Kindness is Lanthimos muse Emma Stone, who won the Best Actress Oscar for Poor Things, and two of her co-stars in that movie, Willem Dafoe and Margaret Qualley, along with Jesse Plemons and Hong Chau. He is a famous director which is considered a controversial trend after his Oscar success with “The Favourite” and “Poor Things.”


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This is another masterpiece from the Yorgos Lanthinos with a unique storyline. The film dates back to the Greek “weird wave. The story of the film revolves around the three parallel paths. The first concerns a desperate man with no options who tries to control his life but is not able to. The second revolves around a policeman who is worried because his wife, disappeared at sea. The third path is a woman determined to find a specific person with a special power because she deeply believes that this person is destined to become an amazing spiritual leader. Director Lanthimos chose to reunite the heroes of his latest film, “Poor Things,” which won many awards, as part of “Kinds of Kindness,” including his favourites “Emma Stone,” “Willem Dafoe,” and “Margaret Qualley,” along with the other actors. Lanthimos favourites Joe Alwyn and Jesse Plemons, who starred in Moonflower Killers and Power of the Dog, and the cast also includes Pisces actor Hong Zhao, Mamoudou Athie, and action actress Hunter Schafer.

The promotional advertisement for the film presented a lot about the cinematic language that the Greek director works on. There is a fast car, slaps, and moving a body from one room to another from which we only see its legs, in addition to a lot of excitement. Moreover, the words and pictures are full of absurd touches. Interject non sequitur conversations, sudden talk about palm weevils, Odd frames and angles intrude, the camera focuses on hands instead of faces during a conversation. 

There are many weird scenes and stories in the movie. Plemons is now a policeman who wants his wife, Liz, who is lost at sea, seeing her in the criminal suspects whom he lovingly caresses “as if they had just had sex for the first time.” When she appears it’s Emma Stone, here as in Bad Things playing a woman suffering from amnesia. But is it Liz? Plemons should be cheering, but the shoe doesn’t quite fit. Watching Plemmons’ cop collapse, our thoughts turn to realistic concerns about the collapse of law enforcement It feels like the film is using three episodes of The Twilight Zone, Tales of the Unexpected or Black Mirror. Using the same actors in all sections heightens the sense of role-playing and amplifies the dream-like qualities of the stories. There are elements of Beckettian absurdism and Penterialist power games. It’s all a bit bad but the cast sells it well, with Plemons especially standing out.


Things get really weird in the third act, with Plemons and Stone playing a duo on the hunt for someone who can rebirth the dead. Stone drives and vapes wildly, her purple Dodge Challenger screeching around the corners. Shots of a hedgehog taken out of context, unexpected close-ups of a cockatiel, a screaming piano, and unsettling choir noises are just a few examples of how ludicrous things can go.

Dafoe puts on an entirely weird performance, overseeing kinky sex games with Chau while sporting a brilliant pink backpack and a lot of eyeliner. The only glimpse of what could be considered normalcy is a spooky scenario where Stone runs into her daughter and divorced husband. Being a mother and a wife appears to have become a shameful thing. Was she lured into an extreme alternative lifestyle by the leader of the Dafu cult? Before we can be sure, it all ends with a sour cartoon joke.

You might be wondering, after three hours, what it all adds up to. Let’s say it is a rambling and not very satisfactory reflection on the contemporary propensity to search the wrong places for kindness-crazy professors, failed governmental institutions, and heartless bosses. On the soundtrack, Annie Lennox sings, “Sweet dreams are made of this,” and the tone of irony has never been more evident.




Is it really a unique and weird movie by the Yorgos Lanthinos? Let’s check what other people are saying-

Director Yorgos Lanthimos serves up a triple helping of strange… At no point during Kinds of Kindness can audiences pretend to anticipate what will happen next.

— Peter Debruge, Variety

A profoundly puzzling, dizzyingly disturbing, and dark-hearted set of loosely connected stories.


— Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International

Puzzling, brilliant, and, in all honesty, not easy to like.

— Stephanie Bunbury, Deadline Hollywood Daily

In summary, “Kinds of Kindness” is an exciting and unsatisfying work of contemporary reflection on complex stories and unreliable characters. The movie aggressively and boldly depicts the enigmatic elements, daring situations, and strange things that Baalamain has to offer. One who loves to watch unique and weird films is perfect for them. Although it is weird, it is one of the most popular Hollywood Films which reach to Cannes Film Festival 2024.



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