Aronne Ibarra 🎃’s review published on Letterboxd:
It was indeed 'promising' and it did not disappoint! Emerald Fennell's debut Promising Young Woman is an exceptional release from last year, and was one of my most anticipated films from 2020. Really happy that this one's getting Oscar buzz because it's that good. Finally got around to seeing it and I'm gonna need a break after this review because holy hell, what a ride.
First and foremost, Promising Young Woman is a revenge flick. But it's not your usual payback porn. It's deeply layered, contemporary, relevant, unpredictable, and damn entertaining. It sets things up and right when you think this is going the way you'd expect, it'd take a left turn. Lots of good decisions here by rising filmmaker Fennell. She said she wanted to subvert the revenge stereotypes and I say she did a pretty good job.
Promising Young Woman is an empowered and critical exploration of men's advantageous and misogynistic treatment of women. It reminds me of Miike's Audition though I like this more.
You really can't trust anyone these days, huh? With the surge of #MeToo, simps, and #MenAreTrash on social media, Promising Young Woman is a film begging to be taken a look at, felt, and remembered. Here in the Philippines, a rape case has made the national headlines and has dominated news coverage for about two weeks now so the film experience was all the more relevant and timely.
The film says a lot about the sexual behavior of men, their disposable and irreverent view of women, and their culture of blaming it on their 'nature' or 'youthful mindlessness'. Films like these that unabashedly examine the toxicity of males always leave me thinking. I didn't feel attacked at all despite being a guy and I actually find these movies introspective and sometimes enlightening.
Promising Young Woman is a visually-appealing and stylistic film. It's got colors that pop and framing that enhances everything else. But beneath the candy/pastel, neon-lit, and lipstick-dripping aesthetic lies a witty screenplay. As I've said, it's unpredictable and it works as a mix of genres. It can be funny, romantic, thrilling, and scary. Fennell's writing and direction took over this one and she deserves the praise in her way. Gotta say I'm excited for more.
Yes, Carey Mulligan is a queen and she slays. I think this is one of her career-best performances and she has to get that Oscar nod or else...
Her character (Cassie) displays trauma, hurt, anger, and forgiveness and Carey magnificently embodies Cassie in her acting. Just a bravo performance.
Bo Burnham is awesome in his role as well and I can't wait to see him in other stuff (also Eight Grade). Damn, he had me fooled in this one. The rest of the cast, which includes notable names such as Alison Brie, Chris Lowell, and even Alfred Molina in a small part were very good.
I don't have many complaints about Promising Young Woman given I enjoyed so much. But if you saw Chris Stuckmann's review on this, you'll find me having more or less the same little flaws.
Some of the tonal shifts can be drastic but it works most of the time. And I felt the knockout ending, while incredibly cathartic and satisfying, fell a little short (just a little!) with the way everything was building up to it. Kinda deflated compared to the rest of the movie, that third act. It was like the least she could've done and the revenge wasn't that BOOM, ya know. But it was smart, it put a smile on my face, and I liked it more than Chris did. I wanted to give this a higher score but I'm still ambivalent about that third act.
Overall, Promising Young Woman is a refreshing take on the subject matter done in an exciting and engrossing revenge movie. With tight direction, writing, and editing, pretty visuals, Carey Mulligan's terrific acting, and p e r f e c t needle drops, I think Promising Young Woman is one of the best of 2020. It's really good and I'm glad that I finally saw it. Can't wait to come back to it in the future! Hope you guys liked it as much as I did and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend this movie. Have a great day and stay safe everyone!