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.

Book Review: Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

Publishers: Electric Monkey
Pages: 432
Book Birthday: 30.4.2020
How I Got It: Bought at 1am, for my Kindle as I couldn’t wait any longer
About: Pip Fitz-Amobi is not a detective anymore.
With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.
But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared but the police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time EVERYONE is listening.
But will she find him before it’s too late? Perfect for fans of One of Us Is LyingEva Dolan, C L Taylor, We Were Liars and Riverdale


Characters

  • Being a sequel, the characters we met in the first instalment are built upon. Pip, our returning protagonist, not only grows further in this book, she demonstrates elements of PTSD. Her relationship with Ravi blooms, while not overwhelming the story.
  • I love that we get to discover move about Connor and others from the previous book. It actually showed what a wealth of characters Jackson built within her literary world.
  • I did feel that there were behaviours left unexplored and unresolved (I’m not going to say who, as that then may eliminate people from your suspect list). It didn’t leave me unsatisfied, but hoping for another sequel.

Plot

  • The narrative takes on a new case that has few links to Pip’s previous. It perhaps has more callbacks than another crime book may have, however it’s very clear that for Pip, these are personal as much as professional.
  • In fact this book had, for me, all the feels of the beloved Veronica Mars. That was an amazing show that build itself up like a braid; new story, new cases but keeping hold of strands from the past.
  • I loved all the elements within the plot; the court case being resolved alongside this new, missing persons, case. I enjoyed how the adults responded to the ongoings and Pip’s involvement.

Writing

  • Told in the third person, Good Girl, Bad Blood is still a highly emotive story. I connected with Pip and really felt her anger, pain and helplessness. When my reading seems primarily made up of first person, this makes for a refreshing change.
  • I was worried that having a kindle edition would botch up some of the formatting, but it was perfect. It made good use of differing fonts and layouts to differentiate between narrative, audio and journal logs. Its a clever way of presenting the evidence as Pip discovers it and adds, rather than detracts, from the pace.

Final Thoughts

I loved every moment of this book. Had it not been for quarantine and the restlessness that has come with it, I’d have read this in one sitting as I had the first.