Last night Variety‘s Clayton Davis reported that Emerald Fennell and Carey Mulligan‘s Promising Young Woman (Focus Features, 12.25) “has been submitted to the Golden Globes in the comedy or musical categories.”
Every year some award-seeking distributor tries to expand the Golden Globe definition of what a comedy or musical might be. Trust me, swear to God, take it to the bank — there’s nothing the least bit amusing about Promising Young Woman, and I mean not “ironically”, not darkly comedic or comedy of horrors…none of that.
It delivers a certain dry, flinty attitude that some might interpret as arch, but arch has never been synonymous with funny. (Not in my book, at least.) The film is admirably dry and deadpan, true, but deep down it’s cold and frosty. It’s a feminist Death Wish but with a certain flair or flourish — Fennell and Mulligan are basically saying “death to all insensitive scumbags and date rapists out there, including a certain fellow who initially seems like he might be a decent human being.”
In his article Davis called Promising Young Woman “darkly comical” — a flat-out lie.
From “Promising Surprise“, posted on 11.22.20: “This is a really well-made film…carefully honed, brittle attitude, super-dry dialogue, well shot…rage, nihilism, chilly and icy but highly controlled…deliberate glacier-hood, calculating.
“It’s been described as a kind of #MeToo Death Wish thing, but it’s a much finer creation than Michael Winner’s 1974 film. And yet God, the ice water in its veins! So angry at chauvinist prick fuckheads that it can’t…well, it can see straight but it can’t cut anyone a break. The evil parties must pay and die, and the feeling of vengeance and wrath is such that it just HAS to splash over and soak Carey’s character…I’ll leave it at that.
“And yet one mark of exceptional artistic achievement is not being afraid to go all the way. PYW definitely goes for broke and then some. It doesn’t just despise the young male tribe of insensitive assholes out there — it wants them exterminated like insects.”