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Promising Young Woman

1h 53m Films, Talks & Events, Directed by Women, First Feature, Thriller 2020

A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against men who cross her path.

Cassie (Carey Mulligan) takes justice into her own hands, playing vigilante against the kind of men who take advantage of vulnerable women in Emerald Fennell’s colourful and subversive feature directorial debut, also starring Bo Burnham and Laverne Cox.

Price: $4.99 + taxes and fees

If you remember one thing about Emerald Fennell’s Oscar-winning first feature, it’s probably the perfectly modulated blankness of Carey Mulligan as Cassie, a former medical student who spends her days as a dead-eyed barista and her nights bringing retribution down upon men who prey on vulnerable women. Or maybe it’s the unnerving string cover of Britney Spears’s “Toxic” that declares the start of its darker-than-dark final movement. Both of those elements are the result of Fennell’s singular directorial vision, which takes a premise straight out of a CSI episode and spins it into a candy-coloured inquiry about how our expectations of gendered social interaction are defined — for good or ill — by romantic comedies and thrillers. And however you feel about where the movie comes down on this, it’s likely a very impassioned response. Like Cassie herself, Promising Young Woman wants nothing less than that, and it’ll do whatever it takes to get it.

NORM WILNER

Content advisory: themes of sexual assault; scene of sexual assault (off-screen); protracted violence, coarse language, sexual situations, drug use

Director

Emerald Fennell

Language

English

Captions

English

Countries

USA, UK

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