Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

That trailer is one of the best, most exciting, and most ferocious that I have ever seen. It did a fantastic job of making me crave this movie for one entire dreadful year.

I truly do believe that most women are going to be able to relate to some aspect of this movie. There was a particularly disgusting, odious critic who recently infamously said that Carey Mulligan was not hot enough to portray the protagonist in this film. On Twitter, a bunch of people replied to this with "Carey Mulligan IS hot!" Oh but Honey, that is so not the point. Sadly, as many women have already long figured out - rape and sexual assault and sexual harassment don't have much to do with looks. The response to that particular "criticism" (I say as I vomit) is not that Carey Mulligan IS hot enough to portray someone who is sexually objectified. No......the response to that "criticism" is that sexual assault is mainly about power. In a patriarchy (spelling out the obvious here) men have the power. It doesn't really matter what you look like.

That's a Donald Trump way of thinking: "I couldn't have raped her. Look at her, she's ugly." (He's said things like this in the past, as a way to "defend" himself against rape accusations.) There are some people in this world who will do absolutely anything that they can get away with. Most obviously, we re-learned this lesson so incredibly harshly throughout 2020..... How absolutely full of irony could it be that somebody could watch this movie about power, and the rape and harassment of women and come away with it thinking, "The star was not fuckable enough for me." How truly twisted and sick is your brain? How much could one possibly miss the point?

I also learned in Criminology that crime happens when there is a motivated offender, a lack of capable guardians, and a suitable target. Unfortunately, anybody not in power in a situation - women, children, the elderly, etc. (and men too of course) are often suitable targets.

I don't know what it is about 2020 movies but so many of them seek to disappoint me with their endings.

Before the ending, this movie was certainly pumping me full of some sort of joy. The soundtrack is extraordinary. The styling of Carey's character is amazing. I believe that the protagonist, Cassandra, is suffering some kind of arrested development after her college experience and the styling hit on that so perfectly. The buildup of tension was great. I was GOING to say that I loved how it was about a woman, by a woman, and it wasn't gratuitous or exploitative... but after that ending, I feel the opposite.

Carey Mulligan is wonderful in this movie. It is truly a fantastic performance from start to finish.

If the ending was different, this could have easily competed with "Tenet" for my movie of the year. I want to say that Emerald Fennell did a great job here and I am so glad that a movie like this was even made. That itself is a great accomplishment. I have now read Letterboxd reviews that "fear" what "men" will think about this. Give me a fucking break. How fucking pathetic. These are movies for us and I'm so glad that it's even here.

Lists:

2020 Top 10
Acting 2020

Abuse and Sexual Assault
Favourites Directed by Women
Best Style
Best Soundtracks

Melissa liked these reviews

All