“Promising Young Woman” is a remarkably dark and disturbing gut-punch of a film; a capable and mostly well-written thriller.
The 93rd Academy Awards will kick off tonight, Sunday, April 25th, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The ceremony will be available to stream on Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, AT&T TV, Fubo TV as well as on ABC.com and the ABC app.
Among the Best Picture nominees is Promising Young Woman, a film that received five nominations total, including both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Emerald Fennell, Best Editing, and Best Actress for Carey Mulligan.
While the film may not currently be the frontrunner to take away the coveted awards, it’s easily one of the most discussed films, especially in regards to its controversial ending. It’s also one that left me profoundly uncomfortable.
As a “cisgender, hetero, white male” trying to navigate my way through this brave new world of woke-ness, I couldn’t really come up with a more appropriate term than “uncomfortable” to accurately sum up my emotional state throughout most of the film.
Admittedly, I’m still struggling daily with the fact that I’m in the seemingly infinite pool of villains that inhabit the entirety of the modern narrative.
As I squirm in my seat watching a veritable “who’s-who” of character actors commit the most cringeworthy and predatory acts of misogyny, I’m internally screaming, “Not all of us….”
And this film DAMNS me for it.
If I’m honest, it more accurately mother-fucked me for it.
Carey Mulligan absolutely slays every time she’s on-screen, and I’m struggling to think of a moment she’s absent.
It’s incredibly easy to root for Cassie until the bitter end.
Emerald Fennell comes out swinging with a Rosie the Riveter strong directorial debut, which she also wrote. Fennell and crew clearly proved to be capable hands with their 23-day shoot and a budget rumored to be around $5m. Production design makes the absolute most of their limited resources, with sets varying from the muted and modern tones of the coffee house where Cassie works to the pink and tan vomit of her mother’s sitting room, lined with faux-Victorian furniture and gaudy milk glass figural lamps.
I went in expecting a tamed down version of Nurse 3D (which is well worth your time, btw) and got something else; a more robust trip through the human experience.
At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, we live in a world where my position in the genetic and sociological Venn diagram places me at the epicenter of villainy. I swear to you, dear reader, by the time the credits rolled, I thought I had joined the unending pool of “me-too-ed” men.
If this is the goal of Promising Young Woman, and I’m sure it is, I say job well done.