Promising young woman: a relevant Oscar-winning black comedy (review)

Promising young woman: a relevant Oscar-winning black comedy (review)

Emerald Fennell’s first feature film is carried by the superb (as always) Carey Mulligan.

Released in May 2021, Promising Young Womanby Emerald Fennell, with Carey Mulligan, Alison Brie and Bo Burnham, will be broadcast this evening on France 2, at 10:45 p.m. (before that, the channel is programming another new film in the clear: We are made for each otherby Pascal Elbé). First advises you.

To avenge her friend who committed suicide after being raped, Cassie pretends to drink in bars to get picked up and taken back to guys’ houses, and confront them with their behavior as predators and rapists. What could go wrong? Lovers of rape and revenge gore and violence will be for their costs: the promo of Promising Young Woman although promising an open hunt for the stupid guy, Emerald Fennell’s point is more subtle. The director (also actress, and showrunner of season 2 of Killing Eve) chooses the register of black comedy, and wants to deconstruct – with more pedagogy than we deserve – as much unhealthy male behavior as the very genre of rape and revenge.

Result, a black comedy (crowned by an Oscar for the screenplay) nicely shot in US suburban settings that are both pop and nightmarish, which does not lack spice, with a very well-found casting – special mention to the couple of parents of our heroine , played with incredible accuracy and surprising sensitivity by Clancy Brown and Jennifer Coolidge (aka “Stifler’s Mom”, but yes). But the film would surely have deserved – like the specimens of man that Cassie lines up – a few good shotgun shots in the parts, here and there. That said, the violent darkness of the ending is sure to leave you with a scar, long after the credits end.

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