Knockout thrillers like “Promising Young Woman” are exactly why you watch movies. Carey Mulligan magnificently dominates the screen in one of her finest film performances to date in Emerald Fennell’s film directorial debut.
As the titular “Promising Young Woman,” Cassie’s (Carey Mulligan) flourishing future was derailed by a mysterious event in college. Once a promising medical student, Cassie now spends her days as a barista, but lives a secret double life by night utilizing her strength, charm and cunning abilities. After an unexpected encounter with a forgotten friend from the past, Cassie has a chance to “right the wrongs” of the past in this terrifically thrilling and exponentially exciting revenge movie. Joining Carey Mulligan is an all-star supporting cast Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Connie Britton, Adam Brody, Jennifer Coolidge, Laverne Cox, Max Greenfield, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chris Lowell, Sam Richardson, Molly Shannon, and Clancy Brown.Considering how amazing “Killing Eve” has been so far, it shouldn’t surprise anyone Emerald Fennell fantastically debuts with a visionary, visceral revenge story. This film feels like a remarkable reinvention of classic 90s thrillers in the vein of “Single White Female,” “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” and “Basic Instinct.” The film is not an egregious erotic thriller, but definitely could fall in line with that era of style like “The Vanishing” (either version), “Fear” and the more recent “Greta” with a phenomenal psychological thriller. Simply put, writer/director Emerald Fennell crushes it with her feature film directorial debut! I think film audiences just discovered the next great performer/director combo as Carey Mulligan is breathtakingly brilliant from the opening credits until the end.
Carey Mulligan magnificently dominates the screen in one of her finest film performances to date. This performance perfectly falls in line with “An Education,” “Shame,” and “Wildlife” with a tour-de-force performance absolutely deserving of Best Actress recognition. This is an award-worthy role from beginning to end. The trailer terrifically sets-up a wonderful, wild experience, but it’s Carey Mulligan who kicks it into overdrive. Carey Mulligan is the ultimate badass in “Promising Young Woman.” Her character is like a captivating combo of Hamlet and Beatrix Kiddo meets Catherine Tramell. Mulligan and her stunning supporting cast certainly remind viewers of classic 90s thrillers like “Single White Female,” “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” and “Basic Instinct” while blending a romantic drama, psychological thriller and black comedy into one. Additionally, fans of “Nocturnal Animals,” “Hard Candy” and “Cape Fear” will absolutely adore the movie. Without giving anything away, the who’s who cast are the epitome of “character” actors and beautifully blend into the movie. It’s only moments or minutes later, you recognize wasn’t that so and so? Hands down, “Promising Young Woman” is easily the best ensemble cast of the year!Although there is some unevenness, the spectacular supporting cast more than makes up for it, especially during the climax and ending. Without a doubt, the film’s final moments left me speechless with a stunning surprise ending. “Promising Young Woman” has the best final chapter for a film since “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.” Easily it contains the best ending of any movie I’ve seen all year long! Like classic marketing of 80s and 90s movies, don’t discuss the ending and let people discover it on their own.Probably for the first time since “Drive” I’ve never felt so compelled to discuss such a stellar, spellbinding soundtrack. Truthfully, it’s worthy of its own individual review as there is great music throughout. The soundtrack contains Charli XCX, Cyn, Sky Ferreira and more in this female focused soundtrack, with only one male contributor, composer Anthony Willis, with his stellar standout chilling composition of an orchestral “Toxic” (Britney Spears). Containing songs like “Stars Are Blind,” “Boys,” “It’s Raining Men” and “Drinks,” this is one of the rare types of film soundtracks you can appreciate on its own merit. Overall, the exceptional effort by the producers definitely delivers an instant throwback classic soundtrack reminding me of “Can’t Hardly Wait,” “Clueless,” “Empire Records” and “Romeo + Juliet.” It’s an amazing assortment and really reflects the experiences of the characters in the film. Much like the film itself, the soundtrack consistently exceeds expectations and is a compelling collaborative effort.Movies like “Promising Young Woman” are why you need to rush out immediately to watch them! There are so many marvelous and magnificent aspects to “Promising Young Woman” it’s hard not to walk away without saying I just watched a great film I want to re-watch immediately. Carey Mulligan’s showstopping, stellar performance will be talked about for decades. I truly hope this is the beginning of a beautiful collaborative relationship with Emerald Fennell and Carey Mulligan. I can confidentially say “Promising Young Woman” is not only a Top 10, but Top 5 film of 2020…easily. Hollywood take notice and make more movies like this!
4 out of 4 stars
Focus Features will release “Promising Young Woman” in theaters December 25th
Share on Facebook