Promising Young Woman (2020)

Rating 15
Length 1h 54
Release 16.4.2021
Director Emerald Fennell
About Nothing in Cassie’s life is what it appears to be — she’s wickedly smart, tantalizingly cunning, and she’s living a secret double life by night. Now, an unexpected encounter is about to give Cassie a chance to right the wrongs from the past.

The Good

  • This film is visually beautiful. There were so many times during the runtime I thought ‘put that on a canvas and I’d hang it in my house’. Very few films have even one frame like that for me. Yet here is this film, a Film Studies academic’s dream, giving me enough canvas for a museum.
  • The film holds a wonderful familiarity with one of my favourite films, Get Carter, and a beloved tv show of mine, Veronica Mars. Not in a way that screams “remake” or “rip off”, but gives me the indication that the creatives behind this film are aiming for my demographic. That this is a film for me, by someone like me.
  • The entire cast is incredible, but this really is Carey Mulligan’s time to shine. It was Cassandra’s story and Mulligan told it with such a presence that you’re drawn right in. I always knew she was going on to do great things when my favourite episode of Doctor Who became the one in which the Doctor, David Tennant’s Doctor no less, was barely present. It makes the geek in me really happy to see her hold her own in such a powerful and important film.
  • Okay, there’s one other person I need to mention and that is Jennifer Coolidge. Holy crap, she blindsided me. She has been the epitome of comedy and caricatures that I am ashamed to say I cringed when I saw her name in the credits. Gone was that nasal squeak that she seemed to have branded herself with, gone are the blonde locks and instead we get a rather understated performance that really added to the family dynamic in the film. Directors, I hope you use this woman more because she is so much more than her 2 Broke Girls’ “Hi everybody”.

The Bad

  • Eat before you press play. Do everything you need to because you are not moving once it starts. I stupidly didn’t think I was going to like this movie, so I naively put it on about 30 minutes before I was going to have my dinner. I couldn’t pause, I couldn’t just nip out… this film had me not only engrossed, but invested. To have paused, even for a moment, could have altered the outcome.
    Now, that, that is cinema at its finest.

The Ugly

  • Its not the most comfortable of watches when you consider the themes, the story and the characters. This isn’t a film for entertainment’s sake. This is a cautionary tale and a societal mirror for trauma, grief and gender prejudice.

Final Thoughts

Watch this movie. Show your mother, your sister and most importantly, show your son, show your brother and show your dad this movie.

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