The must-see film of the year has arrived. 

Opening Christmas Day, Carey Mulligan (Wildlife) stars in Promising Young Woman, the feature debut from writer-director Emerald Fennell (Killing Eve) that takes aim at rape culture and the toxicity surrounding it at point-blank range.

On the cusp of turning 30, Cassandra “Cassie” Thomas (Mulligan) is a former medical student-turned-barista with revenge on the brain. With her med school years leaving a gaping emotional wound, Cassie tends to her grief week after week as an after-hours avenger of sorts, pretending to be helplessly drunk at a club, waiting for a random “nice guy” to come along and offer to take her home, resulting in being taken back to his place. After being subjected to a variety of non-consensual actions, from being plied with heavily poured drinks and drugs to being kissed and touched, Cassie lifts her veil of intoxication to take these so-called “nice guys” to task for their behavior. 

When a former med school classmate, now pediatric surgeon, Ryan (Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade), walks unexpectedly back into Cassie’s life, she’s faced with the painful memories from her past. Brimming with rage, Cassie’s scheming days prove to be far from over amidst trying to “see what this love can do.”  

With continuous pops of pink and blue hues, the glow of neon lights, and a poptastic soundtrack, Fennell packaged her sharply written feature debut in a manner that gives way to immediate intrigue. Yet, Promising Young Woman unapologetically confronts its audience with uncomfortable truths concerning sexual assault, dispelling common excuses given by those looking to exclude themselves from the narrative throughout the 113-minute runtime.  

Read the full review at ArtUNews.com.

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