Promising Young Woman

Please give Carey Mulligan the Best Actress nomination.

Carey Mulligan deserves her first Oscar nomination since “An Education” for delivering an outstanding and unbelievably complex performance in “Promising Young Woman,” the directorial debut of Emerald Fennell. Seeing this wonderful actress put on a few acts makes her flexible and unique. But most of all, she’s an essential character in the #MeToo era, because she tackles on the ongoing serious issue about how men think they’re the dominant ones and women are the weak ones.

See this girl in action, and you might be reminded a little bit of Lisbeth Salander from “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” No piercings and computer hacking skills, but a strong woman willing to punish those sick-minded pricks. It’s a black comedy that sneaks in the comedy as the drama emerges, and pulsates with various results.

We meet Cassandra (Mulligan), a 30-year-old med school dropout, who still lives at home with her parents (Jennifer Coolidge and Clancy Brown), works with her friend (Laverne Cox) in the same coffee shop, and hangs out at night clubs. She poses as a drunk girl, so she can attract her the men who help her, when really they want to help themselves. She reveals her true colors to them (Adam Brody and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are among her victims) and warns them to be careful with how they treat women.

The reason she dropped out of school is because deceased friend Nina was so drunk, that another student named Al Monroe (Christopher Lowell) raped and abused her in front of the his friends. She finds out that pig is getting married soon, and needs to track him at his upcoming bachelor party. She also begins threatening other characters, including a classmate (Alison Brie), the dean (Connie Britton), and the lawyer (Alfred Molina) who threatened Nina into dropping the case.

On the side, she has a small romantic relationship with an awkward pediatric surgeon (Bo Burnham), who also went to the same med school as Cassandra, and likes her. Despite him coming across one of her drunk girl acts (without him knowing the real reason), they still connect……for the most part that is.

The twist is riveting, and you may or may not see that coming, and the movie delivers for all the right reasons. The colors of Cassandra are unpredictable. You don’t even know why exactly she does to the men, until you see the results, which include a little notebook she has about the perverts she’s come across with. Mulligan ignites the screen with flames and eventually a rainbow wig, and inside and out, her performance is electrifying. She’s the main attraction of this movie, and so is Fennell for writing and guiding her on the right path. These two have ambitions in this new age, and they never let the men belittle the women.

I also admired Burnham for transcending from one tone to the next, and the small roles from Brie, Brody, Mintz-Plasse, Britton, Lowell, Max Greenfield (as Al’s friend), and Molly Shannon (as Nina’s mother) provide value and truth. Their moments with Mulligan are both memorable and thrilling. As I’ve mentioned, this was unpredictable. You never know what she plans to do with their characters, whose reactions are well-acted.

A friend of mine was eager to see this movie, and I think she’ll be delighted to know that “Promising Young Woman” is entertaining. This is a chick flick-a damn smart and dangerous one at that.

Rating: 4 out of 4.

Categories: comedy, Crime, Drama

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