The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has respectfully declined to go along with Focus Features’ suggestion that Emerald Fennell and Carey Mulligan‘s Promising Young Woman (12.25) should be classified as a comedy or musical as far as the Golden Globe awards are concerned. It will instead compete as a drama.
Eight days ago (12.14) Variety‘s Clayton Davis reported that Promising Young Woman had been “submitted by Focus Features to the Golden Globes in the comedy or musical categories.” In a 12.15 piece called “Loosely Defined,” I wrote that “there’s nothing the least bit amusing about Promising Young Woman, and I mean not ‘ironically’, not darkly comedic or comedy of horrors…trust me, swear to God, take it to the bank, none of that.”
Promising Young Woman is a sharp and boldly drawn film that doesn’t pussyfoot or pull punches, and that’s why it’s a stand-out. If there’s any 2020 film that expresses the saying “revenge is a dish best served cold,” it’s this one. But just because it exudes a certain dry, arch and frosty attitude doesn’t make it “funny”. Macabre wit, yes, but no snickers, titters or guffaws.
The HFPA and Hollywood Elsewhere feel one way; others disagree. In his 12.14 article Davis called Promising Young Woman “darkly comical”, and the headline of a 12.17 Carina Chocano N.Y. Times‘ profile of Fennell read as follows: “Emerald Fennell’s Dark, Jaded, Funny, Furious Fables of Female Revenge.”
Please watch Promising Young Woman when it begins streaming on 12.25, and if you agree with Davis and Chocano, please write and tell me what aspects of the film you honestly believe are funny or amusing or anything in that realm.