Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★★½

Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman is a perfect movie for this very moment in time. We all know about the #MeToo era but I think people mostly provide cheap lip service. Do people actually think about the insane trauma and grief that comes along with this? Instead of saying "I stand with you" actually stand with them and try to understand and hear them. Fennell's vision is a blistering portrait of a woman driven to the edge by this deafening silence.

Carey Mulligan is a brilliant actress who has never given a bad performance in my opinion, but this is easily the best I've ever seen her. She's in complete command of this movie and the steam coming off the screen whenever she's on it is palpable. I felt her pain and her rage in equal measure. It's a performance that's truly worthy of the cliché phrase "tour-de-force." I will admit that one of my issues with the movie is that nobody in the cast is up to her level. There's actually several really, really goofy performances that almost took me out of the movie.

The goofiness in aspects is what threatened to derail the movie at times. I didn't think that the movie needed any comedy at all but there was a few really misplaced moments of comedy that was completely at odds with the seriousness of the movie. It's a well-scripted movie but some of the directorial execution is a tad uneven. I would say that this is an example of a gifted writer behind the camera for the first time giving in to impulses that weren't supported by the page. There's a really egregious tonal shift that severely undercuts one of the most shocking moments of the movie.

Promising Young Woman is a fiery movie that subverts the revenge thriller formula with an uncommonly sensitive approach and some wicked plot turns. It's a bit uneven in execution and some of the performances feel like they're in a different movie but there's one thing that can't be denied.. this is the Carey Mulligan show. She's never been better.

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