Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman ★★★½

Promising Young Woman is for the most part bold, unflinching, angry, and most importantly, driven by a clear point of view. Emerald Fennell has no desire to play both sides in the name of subtlety, and her film is better off because of it. The story takes a handful of different genres and tones and mashes them together with varying levels of success, but it has an undeniable energy and momentum to it that helps it move.

Admittedly, Fennell does bite off more than she can chew as the film moves into its final act, with that transition coming way too quick on both a plot and character standpoint - additionally, the ending is by far the weakest link and threatens to completely undo the entire message. But that aside (and I admit it's a big aside), this is a mostly strong, tension-filled, and entertaining affair with a phenomenal cast, from nice guy love interest Bo Burnham to preppy white woman Alison Brie to every single white guy of shows past who pollutes the screen. And at the top of it all is Carey Mulligan, who is straight fire in a role that is complex, contradictory, and vulnerable in all the right ways. If there's any reason to watch this film, it's her.

GRADE: B

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