Some movies are like, meh. Others, like "Promising Woman," provoke a reaction – a strong, visceral reaction.
The subject of the awards season contender is sexual assault in its most repellant forms, but for a lot of its running time, "Promising Young Woman" considers the type propagated by so-called "nice guys" who take it upon themselves to "help" seemingly intoxicated young ladies, represented here fiercely and magnificently (with lots of humanity and humor) by Carey Mulligan. Help in these cases is anything but.
We don't want to give anything away about the plot details, or how it plays out. But viewers will have thoughts about what they see in the film (especially the ending), and they'll be talking about it for years.
It makes sense that this came out in 2020, because it is completely incendiary, and it deserves as wide an audience as possible. Mulligan and debut filmmaker/veteran actress Emerald Fennell are unflinching in their perspective, reflecting an image back that's honest, not easy to take, and critical to confront.