Coming from director Emerald Fennell and Focus Features is the story of a woman on a mission away from being a PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN.
Cassie (Carey Mulligan) works in a coffee shop with Gail (Laverne Cox) and is content with that. Living at home with her parents Susan (Jennifer Coolidge) and Stanley (Clancy Brown) can be a bit contentious at times. Dropping out of medical school does not help Cassie but after her friend Nina was raped, it became clear that the affect it has had on Cassie is extreme.
Her evening hours are spent at bars picking up strangers and then putting a notation down in a book. That is until meeting Ryan Cooper (Bo Burnham), a pediatric doctor who remembers Cassie from medical school. Not wanting to get serious with anyone, Cassie does not want to be distracted from her goal.
But, finding someone who makes her laugh and spend time with has made Cassie a bit softer but no less determined. One of her visits to talk about Nina is to Dean Elizabeth Walker (Connie Britton) and remind her of what happened to her friend. Dean Walker is given a dose of reality as Cassie makes it clear that she has not forgotten what happened.
When Cassie begins to put even more of the pieces of Nina night together and discovers that the horror is more than she could have possibly imagined. She knows there is only one thing left to do and they are never going to see it coming – none of them.
Mulligan as Cassie is completely and unequivocally stunning in this role. From the moment the story begins there is something about Cassie that you can not take your eyes off of. Clearly, she is a woman who has been through something tragic and it has had a lasting impact on her. There are moments she seems checked out of everything and then she becomes laser focused on the only thing she understands – making others pay for how she feels. Mulligan is just brilliant to the point where I watched the film a second time, that is how incredible she is.
Burnham as Ryan is the calm in the midst of Cassie’s emotional storm. He makes her laugh, does not judge what she has been through and tries to bring her some happiness in her life. Remembering Cassie from medical school, their friendship blossoms and Burnham gives us hope that good guys do exist. Britton as Dean Walker is someone Cassie is not going to forget or let get away with what she pretends not to know.
Shout out to Coolidge as Mom Susan and Brown as Stanley who, as parents, just do not seem to understand their daughter and the choices she has made. Cox as Gail shows up on the screen with her beautiful self, brought sarcasm along for the ride and does it so damn well.
Other cast include Chris Lowell as Al Monroe, Adam Brody as Jerry, Max Greenfield as Joe, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Neil, Sam Richardson as Paul, Alfred Molina as Jordan, Angela Zhou as Todd and Molly Shannon as Mrs. Fisher.
Focus Features’ mission is to make a lasting impact on global audiences by creating the home for artists to share diverse, distinctive stories that inspire human connection. Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies that brings entertainment and news to a global audience. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.focusfeatures.com.
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN is a film that deserves award after award for several reasons. First and foremost is Mulligan’s engrossing performance down to the last frame of the film. It has been a while since I invested so much into a film only to be shocked by the final ten minutes.
Second, a screenplay that does not hold back in its feeling and that includes revenge, fear, love and a deep friendship. A character like Cassie has layer upon layer and the way the story is told brings an unpredictability that I thoroughly enjoyed. It brings about a rollercoaster with deeps valleys and high highs and anyone watching will be more than happy to take the ride.
Finally, this has been a year where good films are few and far between with a pandemic keeping theatres mainly closed. It is my hope that everyone has a chance to see PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN in whatever platform they can because this is definetly a film you do not want to miss.
Hear that Oscar?
In the end – revenge never looked so promising!