starring Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Connie Britton
written and directed by Emerald Fennell
Please take every precaution if you insist on risking your health and that of others to see this movie in a theatre. Wear a mask (over the nose, too, sport), practise social distancing, and don't be a dick.
by Walter Chaw Hyphenate Emerald Fennell's feature debut Promising Young Woman trails the same kind of buzz that accompanied David Slade's Hard Candy 15 years ago. Here, that buzz says, is a film that will turn the tables on predators in a meaningful way; it purports to put the bad guys on notice that things are about to change for them: the hunters will now enjoy a bitter draught of their own medicine. Delicious! Unfortunately, like Hard Candy, Promising Young Woman is a sheep in wolf's clothing, a mousetrap made out of wax, good intentions, and the right politics that pulls its punches in absurd, and absurdly consistent, ways. It doesn't help. It doesn't discover a new way to have an old conversation. And at the end of it all, it manufactures an ending in which the authorities it's spent its entire thesis crucifying as ineffectual are relied upon to be the cavalry coming to save the day. Promising Young Woman is the punk that wants very much to be acceptable to the system against which it's rebelling. At least it has some effective performances.