Review: Promising Young Woman (Sundance 2020)

Title: Promising Young Woman
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Emerald Fennell
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox
Runtime: 1 hr 53 mins

What It Is: Cassandra (Mulligan) is a woman who has experienced trauma. This trauma has manifested itself for her in several ways. One of these is in a predatory nature towards the rude and absurd behavior of men at bars. But what was the event that left Cassandra uninterested in the embarrassment of them or anyone else? What is her ultimate goal and will she achieve it? As Cassandra meets Dr. Ryan (Burnham) it seems that maybe her opinions on things are changing.

What We Think: This is one helluva film. It’s purposeful and interesting storytelling is made all the more prolific by Carrie Mulligans career-best performance. Mulligan is a killer. But it’s Burnham that steals every scene he’s in with her. There are twists and turns that I’m fairly certain you won’t see coming. Rarely am I taken aback by a screenplay and how it plays out. Well, writer/director Emerald Fennell did it. I want to stress that this is such an…odd movie structurally that if you don’t know that going in you might not get it. This is one of the most original and strangely empowering films that 2020 is going to bring forth.

Our Grade: A-, This is a film that will completely take you off your guard. As it all plays out you really start to realize that any sort of expectations you had aren’t going to be what happens. You just give in to wherever the wild story takes you. If you do that you’re in for the feminist ride of a lifetime. Of course, I recommend you check this one out when it hits theaters in April. It’s three different movies all in one and unlike most anything, you’ll see in this or any year.

Check out our interview with composer Anthony Willis below: