Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★★★★

I am into all of this. It gets uncomfortable, the main character capable of cruelty that will probably turn people off completely. And they wouldn't be wrong to want to look away. What she's doing is, in fact, not good, in the same way that it isn't actually good for renegade cops and vigilantes to take the law into their own hands. We tell a lot of those stories in movies. We pass it off as fantasy, these men with guns killing faceless hordes that exist in a different world of crime, separate from the reality that we dwell in everyday.

This movie is really blunt. It isn't dancing around anything, isn't wasting time trying to finesse its issues. It's as straightforward as the most raucous action movie. But the villain is rape culture, this pervasive sickness that infects people we know, people we love. We aren't told to hate an abstract construct of global evil, but this very palpable thing that we can all recognize if we just took a minute and thought about how bad things really are for women. We are complicit in all the shit we see in the film, whether we care to admit it or not. And maybe that's what makes it more uncomfortable than a terrorist being blown up.

Carey Mulligan is amazing as the compelling middle to all this moral queasiness. She is as amazing as Britney Spears' Toxic. This is the highest praise I can think of in the context of this movie.