Kinds of Kindness: The Beautiful, Funny, and Dark Films of Yorgos Lanthimos

Yorgos Lanthimos is one of those rare and distinctive filmmakers who has a unique style and vision. He is a director who is unafraid of showing the darker, weirder, and uncomfortable sides of humanity. I would describe his films as beautiful, funny, and disturbing. Maybe it isn’t surprising, then, that I mentioned some of his films on my cringe core blog, opens a new window.

Kinds of Kindness is his newest film. It marks a reunion with screenplay writer Efthimis Filippou and a return to original screenplays. Of his previous two films, The Favourite is loosely based historical fiction, opens a new window, and Poor Things, is a book adaptation, opens a new window. Lanthimos and Filippou began their filmmaking collaboration in Greece and broke into the American mainstream with the films Dogtooth, The Lobster, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

have been mostly positive, but mixed, which isn't surprising since Lanthimos' films are polarizing. He is following in the footsteps of other visionary directors who have tried their hand at anthologies, films featuring multiple loosely interconnected stories, like Jim Jarmusch, the Coen brothers, and Wes Anderson. One thing that sets Kinds of Kindness apart from other anthology films is that most of its cast, which includes Jesse Plemmons (Civil War, I'm Thinking of Ending Things) and Margaret Qualley (Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood, opens a new window) are featured in each of the films three segments playing different characters. While there's a great tradition of actors playing multiple characters in a single movie, rarely do you see this in anthology films, which usually use entirely different casts for each story. Maybe Yorgos is inviting you to find similarities between characters in different stories that you might not have noticed if they didn't share the same actor, like the Wachowski sisters do in their anthology-like film Clo, opens a new windowud Atlas, opens a new window. Or maybe he was just trying to save money by making actors pull double duty.

This is his third collaboration with actress Emma Stone who won an Oscar for her starring role of Bella in the recent film Poor Things. She was previously nominated for an Oscar for her role in The Favourite, as well. Stone is already set to star in Lanthimos upcoming film Bugonia. They really like working together!

There are rumors, opens a new window that Lanthimos will be directing a movie version of Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation, opens a new window, which I think would be a perfect fit for the source material. I am very excited about it!

To put you in the mood for Kinds of Kindness, you can check out these Yorgos Lanthimos films from the library:


The Lobster

The Favourite

The Killing of A Sacred Deer

Poor Things

If you’re interested in other anthology films by well-known directors, you can check these out: 

Short Cuts

Coffee and Cigarettes

Cloud Atlas

The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun

This blog was written by Sarah G. with contributions from Leif S.