Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman

In Theatres: 
Dec 25, 2020
Running Time: 
113 minutes

Promising Young Woman should make you feel uncomfortable. It should make you feel like you have a pit in the center of your stomach. With the talented Emerald Fennell at the helm and a brilliant performance by Carey Mulligan, the film tells a story of a young woman who had a promising life ahead of her only for it to be derailed due to a series of tragic events, and so she sets out to get revenge against the men who took that away from her. It’s an all too familiar story in real life, although Promising Young Woman takes all the power away from the men and gives it to Carey Mulligan in a satisfying tale of revenge.


Cassie (Mulligan) spends her days waiting on customers at a coffee shop, but she spends her nights going to bars and clubs and getting intentionally picked up by men. Feigning to be drunk, these men take her to their place with the intention of having sex with her, but the tables quickly turn when she soberly asks them what they’re doing. This all leads up to her learning about the people from her past that wronged her back in college when she was studying to become a lawyer, and embarking on a mission to get her revenge. It might not make things right, but it’s a start.


From the moment you first meet her, Carey Mulligan’s Cassie is a force to be reckoned with. The main elements of the story might be familiar, but it's the moments in between where Mulligan’s performance and Fennell’s writing and directing really shine. Cassie is a sight to behold, using everything and everyone to her advantage. There are moments where the film goes in an unexpected direction but Cassie never seems phased. She’s always one step ahead of everyone else. Carey Mulligan delivers one of the best performances of her career with Promising Young Woman, with every scene and every moment hitting hard. There’s confidence and weight to every decision she makes, and you’ll be rooting for her every step of the way.


Promising Young Woman is at times gruesome, emotional, uplifting, and even funny. Most importantly it’s empowering, taking the Nice Guy mentality and beating it over the head with a hammer. Emerald Fennell’s directorial debut is laser focused and doesn’t hold anything back. Don’t be surprised if you see this film come up in all of the award categories this season; it deserves every one of them. 

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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