Sourced from IGN From a babbling child to a confident woman, Emma Stone maintains an element of curiosity throughout her portrayal.

“Poor Things,” which recently won four Oscars including Best Actress for Emma Stone’s exceptional performance, is a peculiar and comedic retelling of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.”

Bella Baxter, played by Stone, is a newly revived woman with the brain of her unborn child. She lives with offbeat scientist, Dr. Godwin Baxter — who she calls God — and his apprentice, Max McCandles. The film is essentially an examination of human behavior, as Bella rediscovers what it’s like to be a human and a woman in a world that she no longer understands.

Bella’s earlier parts of her new life is reflected in the film’s black and white coloring. She cannot leave the house or do anything on her own, yet for a short while she is happy. Bella acts as a robotic one-year-old child — she babbles, she throws things, she plays with her food and very early on becomes exceptionally curious and playful — highlighting Stone’s dynamic range in acting. Stone’s facial expressions are scarily on par with that of a toddler and she waddles around the house as if she had just learned how to stand on her own two feet — making this first part of the film arguably the most impressive.

Shortly after, Bella begins to explore her sexuality, in some ways fueling her decision to run away with a lawyer called Duncan Wedderburn. The pair go on a trip to Lisbon where Duncan heavily emphasizes that Bella should not fall in love with him because he only wants her company for a limited time. However, Bella does not seem to be interested in Duncan besides what he can do for her sexually. In fact, in their time in Lisbon she freely explores the city — coming and going as she pleases — further stressing a disinterest in spending time with him.

At this point in the film her vocabulary has increased dramatically. She no longer presents herself in a childish manner — although she remains curious — and it is clear that she is very aware of her wants and needs. Interestingly enough, Bella’s independent nature begins to frustrate Duncan, contrary to what he formerly wanted from his relationship with her. In turn, Bella frequently expresses her annoyance with Duncan’s controlling behaviors, establishing her as a blunt and confident person.

Although, at times, Bella is naive and can be blown in any direction, she somehow seems to overcome any male figures that hope to contain her innately disruptive and exploratory spirit — which is something exceptional about Bella’s character. There is an element of suspense that leaves the audience waiting for some person to take advantage of her naivety. Even in the most dangerous situations — for instance, her short time working at a brothel in Paris — Bella somehow makes it out unscathed.

It seems that although Bella progressively becomes more interested in the world and more connected with herself, there is still a huge disconnect in her interpretation of human emotions and societal expectations. It is as though Bella’s lack of understanding about human relationships is what allows her to succeed. Her unconventional attitude and candor blindsides most men and allows her to shake them off when she no longer needs them. Additionally, it prevents her from clinging on to potentially emotionally damaging relationships and situations.

Something else that could not be ignored about the film was Bella’s frequent sexual interactions, which seemed to be a huge point of contention in the feminist realm. The idea that the film is a male-centric take on modern-day feminism is in many ways justified. Bella is essentially a child in a grown woman’s body, which already sets the film on morally gray ground because of her many sexual interactions. On the other hand, Bella is not a human woman — it is made very clear that her emotional and intellectual growth is not linear and does not parallel that of a human child. Bella advances at an extremely rapid pace and toward the middle of the movie she expresses herself as a full grown woman. It also might be worth questioning why seeing a sexually active woman is so jarring. Does “Poor Things” exploit Bella Baxter or is the reaction to her sexual encounters more reflective of societal attitudes toward women’s sexuality?

In addition to discourse on feminist criticism in the film, there are several other ideas that have sparked interest in viewers, which only speaks to the depth and complexity of Bella Baxter’s character and the film as a whole.