Tracker Pixel for Entry

Emerald Fennell and Carey Mulligan Team Up for ‘Promising Young Woman’

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Cinema | January 20th, 2021

By Greg Carlson

gregcarlson1@gmail.com

Talented hyphenate Emerald Fennell, the season two “Killing Eve” showrunner, unleashes one of the most audacious and provocative films of the year with “Promising Young Woman,” the writer-director-producer’s feature debut. A pitch-black commentary on the unrelenting and insidious misogyny that keeps a tight grip on the culture even in the face of head-on confrontation and critique, Fennell’s uproariously funny film showcases a powerhouse Carey Mulligan in what could very well be her career-best performance. Together, Fennell and Mulligan make for a dream team -- determined collaborators in sync and on the same page from first frame to last -- and the result is a buzzworthy movie worth all the buzz.

Audiences have been waiting on “Promising Young Woman” for what seems like forever. The Sundance premiere screenings, accompanied by the laughter and gasps and cheers of enthusiastic viewers in packed auditoriums -- when that was still, gloriously, a thing that happened -- anticipated solid returns and terrific word-of-mouth for the originally planned April release date set by Focus Features. But then, the global pandemic. And now, finally, a Christmas Day reservation in cinemas hurting for product and customers. If there is a silver lining, “Promising Young Woman” will now attract a greater share of attention as a bold bit of “Wonder Woman 1984” counterprogramming.

As movie theaters were shutting their doors last spring, the “Promising Young Woman” trailer was scorching eyeballs with its head-spinning premise. Mulligan’s Cassandra narrates in voiceover, “Every week, I go to a club. I act like I’m too drunk to stand. And every week, a nice guy comes over to see if I’m okay.” The fierce reckonings that follow are a lacerating repudiation of the Nice Guy, the wholly self-entitled and manipulative complainer ready to curse and threaten any potential romantic interest who doesn’t reciprocate. In this particular context, the Nice Guy is anything but. For more information, one can go down a Reddit rabbit hole at r/niceguys for hundreds of cringeworthy, real world examples.

Fennell imagines Cassie’s surroundings in vivid, candy-colored hues and pastel tints. The effect is redolent of the witch’s gingerbread and pastry house in the tale of Hansel and Gretel -- an alluring facade masking something sinister. The more we learn about the protagonist and her motivations and history, the more we admire Fennell’s perspicacity and her refusal to make the kinds of easy choices common to the genre/milieu. Mulligan fills Cassandra with measures of self-deprecation/self-loathing and with the righteous indignation and anger necessary to pull back the curtain on her evolving position as sometime prey, sometime predator.

“Promising Young Woman” writes a fresh new chapter in the rape-revenge saga on the big screen, a complex filmography made all the more challenging by the cinema’s skill at rendering lurid, action-oriented visuals. In “Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study,” Alexandra Heller-Nicholas notes, “Confusion about the relationship between rape and its artistic representation is historically entrenched, and existed long before the introduction of the movie camera.” Fennell explores this terrain with the skill and depth of both filmmaking veteran and social scholar, guiding viewers to places so surprising and unexpected that her film will stay with you for a long, long time.

If You Go

Only one screening this week, maybe the last one

Marcus West Acres Cinema

Friday, 22 January, 2021, 7:10pm

(701) 282-6930

Recently in:

The vibrant life of Ashley Lake Hamilton came to a sudden end on the Sunset Highway between Airway Heights and Fairchild Air Force Base on Thursday, December 10, 2020.Ashley was born on a beautiful Monday afternoon, June 2, 1980,…

By Michael M. Miller michael.miller@ndsu.eduThe late Mary Lynn Axtman, native of Rugby, ND, who dedicated many hours for GRHC, shared this message about ornaments from Joseph S. Height’s section on Christmas in his book,…

Best Bets

Ladies Ag Night

by HPR Staff

Thursday, March 19, 4:30- 8 pm1609 19th Ave N, FargoCass County Soil Conservation District is hosting their annual Ladies’ Ag Night supper event. This event has a goal of bringing together multiple generations of women involved…

By John Strand jas@hpr1.com21 January 2021Like most of you, we are relieved to be past 2020. What a crazy year!…

Gadfly

Death of a Nation

by Ed Raymond

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com21 February 2021Have We Eliminated ‘The Giants Of Racism, Extreme Materialism, And Militarism’?In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson saw the first American motion picture ever shown in the White…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

Reviving Rural Grocery Stores in North DakotaBy Annie PrafckeFargo, ND – On October 7th, Gov. Doug Burgum awarded Milnor Market and the Forman grocery store project Main Street Awards, as part of an initiative led by the Office…

When we were growing up we often found ways to rebel against our parents, some more nonsensical than others. Not all of us decided to use those methods as inspiration for the name of a band. Bismarck-based band Spite Nap decided…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.com19 February 2021Filmmaker Sabrina Doyle’s “Lorelei” aims for hardscrabble, working-class romance. Good onscreen chemistry between Jena Malone and Pablo Schreiber lifts the filmmaker’s…

By Jill FinkelsonWe’ve been hearing the word Unrest a lot lately. Unrest in the streets. Unrest in the capital. Unrest in our own homes as we struggle to hunker down in the face of the unseen pandemic. People are restless. They…

Theatre

Digital Dragathon

by HPR Staff

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

by Jill Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comFar North Spirits, located up in Hallock, MN, is the northernmost distillery in the lower 48. They may be young in the distillery world but the farm and the spirit reach far into the past.…

Wellness

Discover Yoga Differently

by HPR Contributor

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Ashlee Nordquisthpr@hpr1.comI've come to the conclusion that not everyone understands why my brother and I went on ventilators for covid and what that means. As I survived and my brother SO FAR is improving, I can make jokes and…

By Faye Seidler   fayeseidler@gmail.com Community Uplift Program Project Coordinator        (701) 732-0228https://www.facebook.com/communityupliftprogram                                                                            …