movie poster for Promising Young WomanLast night Viv and I went to the Astor to see Promising Young Woman, starring Carey Mulligan (actually it was a double-header with the 1944 film Gaslight, but Viv was too tired and we went home). It’s a black comedy thriller film, revolving around the themes of “rape culture” and the drive for revenge. And it’s so good!! Mulligan’s performance as Cassie Thomas is brilliant, the pace is snappy, and the tension and humour are on-point.

I actually found out about the movie through a review on the ABC website which was not overly enamoured with it. In particular, I think they were a bit too keen on the movie’s detour into romantic comedy, and were kind of hoping the movie would ditch its overarching “quest for revenge” plotline and just go all-in on that. For my part, I’m glad it went in the direction it did. It’s so satisfying to see Cassie’s plans come together, and all these people who dismissed or downplayed sexual abuse getting their come-uppance.

The film’s ending, which I will not spoil, was absolutely wild. Viv and I loved it, but apparently it’s been polarising. If you have already seen the movie, you might be interested in this spoiler-ific interview with director Emerald Fennell and lead actress Mulligan in the LA Times(external link), where they elaborate a little more on the ending (resolving one doubt that I personally had).

Overall, a riveting feminist thriller and I’m glad that this is the film that got me back to the cinema for the first time since, you know, the Before Times.

As a bonus, have some photos of the Astor itself as well, because it’s a beautiful historic cinema:

the Astor Theatre building in the daylight the interior of the upstairs at the Astor
a couch and a mirror downstairs at the Astor staircase and booking office downstairs at the Astor stalls, hand sanitisation station and cloak rooms downstairs at the Astor