Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman

About the film a millionaire star of the U.K. monarchy TV show would create. I can handle watching a mentally ill self-destructive character in, say, character studies, but when enthusiastically couched within the trappings of genre, there's inevitable friction, and Fennell cannot help but minimize serious material under circa-2010 insights. Fennell has her protagonist perform horrific acts against other females for plot purposes; she traffics in shock under the guise of commentary; she reveals that she's a television writer foremostly. It is disarmingly obviously poorly directed, too; for a lot of scenes, you know very well where that camera's going which at least allows you to just listen to a lot of the film. There's even an awkward falling-in-love romcom montage tucked within where Fennell intercuts between literally two scenes—one in a pharmacy and one where the lovers eat pizza. Reality is already continually making this film's points; Fennell is only here to cheapen them.

(Aside #1): David Foster Wallace as signifier—of toxic masculinity, I guess?—is getting old. The same "nice guy" character who pontificates about him is also apparently a huge fan of Julien Duvivier because no one impresses more than a B-side French poetic realist that the Cahiers gang disliked.

(Aside #2): I saw the trailer for this in front of Uncut Gems, so Searchlight was prepping this for a Spring counter-programming release where they likely would have made a modest profit, and this likely would have faded into trendy cult object. If ever one is in doubt about the Oscars as marketing extravaganza, look no further than this likely winner of Best Actress and Original Screenplay.