They say revenge is a dish best served cold. But in Promising Young Woman, revenge is served up on a candy-coated platter leftover from a Britney Spear’s music video:
The result is complex despite the straightforward story. Even though the final sentence imbues Promising Young Woman with contemporary currency, Fennell keeps the audience on uneven footing and refuses to provide easy answers or unearned triumphalism. By starting her story seven years after the night in question and refraining from flashbacks or visual depictions, Fennell eschews the cinematic rape-revenge conventions that male directors have used over the years to absolve them of exploiting their actresses. Her interest is in the collateral damage of assault. Even better, it complicates the morality of the movie.Boulder Weekly Vol. 28, No. 19, “Righteous retribution“
It’s dark, funny, and will no doubt give you something to talk about over the holidays. That is, if you can see it. Focus Features is releasing Promising Young Woman in theaters on Dec. 25 (where available), with a rumored Video on Demand release waiting in the wings. It’s 2020, you know the drill by now.