• Martyn Wakefield

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (REVIEW)

Dir. Emerald Fennell

Reviewer. Dan Cook

As directorial debuts go, Emerald Fennell’s PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN is about as successful as they get. Nominated for a mountain of awards including 3 Oscars, this stylish rape revenge comedy thriller has garnered sizeable critical praise over the past few weeks since its release and with its incendiary subject matter of sexual abuse still damningly present in the news, it has become one of the most talked about films of the year - and it’s easy to see why.


In the film, Carey Mulligan delivers a dynamite (and potentially Academy Award winning) performance as the eponymous young woman who has taken it upon herself to wreak life-destroying vengeance against those who played any part in the horrifying rape of her best friend.



Shot with a stunning day-glo aesthetic by cinematographer Benjamin Kracun and underscored with screeching urgency by Anthony Willis, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN looks and sounds great. But it is the riveting central performance from the always brilliant Mulligan which makes the movie absolutely unmissable, with her fearless and fearsome foul-mouthed anti-hero serving as a captivating narrative focus as well as the complete opposite of the well-spoken, good natured characters she has played so well in previous pictures.


While I don’t love the film as much as many others seem to, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN is still a laser pointed and hugely impressive first feature that satirically but skilfully uses its disturbing subject matter to eye-opening and, quite often, upsetting effect - leading to one of the most unexpected yet truly satisfying endings of recent years.



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