PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (2020)

Written & Directed: Emerald Fennell 
Cinematography: Benjamin Kracun 
Editor: Frederic Thoraval 

Cast: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Adam Brody, Sam Richardson, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Laverene Cox, Max Greenfield, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Alison Brie, Connie Britton, Molly Shannon, Loren Paul, Christopher Lowell, Steve Monroe

A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who crossed her path.


The film seeks to try to make its points over and over again that feel like overkill and preaching to a certain extent.

The film manages to surprise the audience using exploitation expectations though giving something else entirely.

This film would have worked fine enough if it was what one was expecting a revenge tale against so-called nice guys and bad guys alike.

Though the film addresses more and it tries to be a film that inspires discussion and becomes more of a think piece than necessarily Just a film. This is fine as long as it offers more arguments and evidence for what it seems to want to spark conversations. 

Some aspects are left vague as we never really See what happens once she is down with her encounters with these men and are never really told what happens after. Is it just confrontation as a kind of exposing and warning to them? Does she do anything violent to them and if the just warning does she really Get revenge and does she have a backup security measure if these guys decide to get violent?

Even with her little notebook which she seems to make markings in of another case or victim. What Is it all for?

Not to mention afterwards though it seems to happen around the same town and area. It never comes back to her until the film needs it to, which comes off as a bit too convenient.

The film offers interesting twists but while there is a certain level of guilt. We still might wonder why she takes on this mission. 

Her revenge schemes are thought out, cruel, and make their points. Even though most men are made out to be villains throughout there are some women who are just as guilty in their ambivalence.

The film seems to make a point against nice guys being as bad or worse than predators. As they see themselves above it all and defend or support women. Though deep down they hold the same attitudes as those predators and believe because of their other good deeds that they are somehow owed love or a woman. Even as these nice guys already seem kind of predatory or at least douchey beforehand. 

Especially by casting actors, we have seen as the nice guy nerdish characters in other films and television shows. Who here makes cameos or has a scene or two Then disappear. That truly only one character actually does surprise me.

This also gives the film a whiff of superiority as it comes off more about issues than character. Which for some might feel for some

Preachy and while a film about the issues it presents are welcome. The film isn’t as good to back it up, Or be a good example.

Nice to see comedian Bo Burnham Giving more of a meaty supporting role. 

This is a revenge tale that takes comfort in being in and having the rules but acts like it is better than them. When it actually might be a little smarter and more discreet in its handling And treatment of the Material.

Which helps the film not be as exploitative. As the character and scenes aren’t made erotic or sexualized. It comes off as more of a new normal get more through a feminine gaze. Though strangely in its set-up and backgrounds it feels almost like it’s taking place on a kind of dreamland as it is real but feels artificial, more pretty than anything. 

The design of the film is remarkable and quite brightly colored to offset the dark behaviors and characters.

The film’s strength is more in its surprising and unpredictable third act. 

This is also a movie that loses some points due to hype. As ever since hearing about the film before it Came out wanted to see it and heard nothing but good things to the point of it’s Multiple academy award nominations And win for best original screenplay. But not after finally seeing it. That hype hurt the film in my eyes. 

Even when trying to put that aside others might have Been lucky to Discover it to admire it for what it is. (The best way To see any film) But coming into the film with preconceived thoughts. It doesn’t live up to the prose exactly. As it isn’t horrible but not as good as expected though better than average. 

It feels like a lifetime movie due to the can be anywhere, Polished no violence but always a threat of it and actions mostly Done on theory with big histrionics and a cast more known for appearances on television. 

The film even introduces an idea that might even work as a sequel 

GRADE: B-

OTHER PEOPLE (2016)

otherpeople

 

Written & Directed By: Chris Kelly
Cinematography By: Brian Burgoyne
Editor: Patrick Colman 


Cast: Jesse Plemmons, Molly Shannon, Bradley Whitford, Maude Apatow, June Sqibb, Paula Pell, Matt Walsh, Paul Dooley, Kerri Kenney, Zach Woods, Mike Mitchell, Lynne Marie Stewart, Nicole Byer, Lennon Parham 


Follows David as he moves back home to be with his mother for the year between her giving up her fight against cancer and slowly dying. David’s relationship with his family is, at best, strained (especially in regard to his father) because of an apparent difficulty in accepting his homosexuality. Although the subject matter is genuinely distressing, his mothers death ultimately helps restore his familial bonds and become an integrated part of the family unit again.

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HORSE GIRL (2020)

horsegirl

Directed By: Jeff Baena
Written By: Jeff Baena & Alison Brie
Cinematography: Sean McElwee
Editor: Ryan Brown 


Cast: Alison Brie, Molly Shannon, John Ortiz, Debby Ryan, Toby Huss, Angela Trimbur, Paul Reiser, Aaron Stanford, Robin Tunney, Matthew Gray Gubler, Dylan Gelula, John Reynolds, David Paymer, Jay Duplass 

Sarah, a socially isolated arts and crafts store employee, finds herself more content in the company of horses and supernatural crime shows than people. But when a series of strangely surreal dreams upend the simplicity of her waking life, Sarah struggles to distinguish her visions from reality. A darkly humorous psychological thriller about a woman’s search for the truth, however abstract it may be.

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LIFE AFTER BETH (2014)

LifeAfterBeth

Written & Directed By: Jeff Baena
Cinematography By: Jay Hunter
Editor: Colin Patton 


Cast: Dale DeHann, Aubrey Plaza, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Paul Reiser, Cheryl Hines, Matthew Gray Gubler, Anna Kendrick, Garry Marshall, Alia Shawkat, Paul Weitz, Rob Delaney

A hike alone in the woods ends tragically for Beth Slocum with a fatal snake bite. Her death leaves her parents and boyfriend Zach reeling. After the funeral, Zach tries to make friends with Mr. and Mrs. Slocum, but even they reject him, and he’s determined to figure out why. Then he sees Beth. Her parents are trying to keep her resurrection a secret, but zombie Beth provides Zach with the opportunity to do everything with her that he didn’t get to do while she was still alive. But with Beth’s increasingly erratic behavior and even more strange occurrences around town, life with the undead Beth proves to be particularly complicated for her still-living loved ones.

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THE LITTLE HOURS (2017)

the-little-hours-dave-franco

Written & Directed By: Jeff Baena
Cinematography By: Quyen Tran
Editor: Ryan Brown 


Cast: Dave Franco, Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Kate Micucci, Nick Offerman, Jemima Kirke, Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly, Paul Reiser, Fred Armisen, Paul Weitz, Lauren Weedman 


On the run from the battle-seasoned Lord Bruno for sleeping with his wife, the handsome and willing servant, Massetto, flees to the safety of the woods during the warm and peaceful summer of 1347. There, after a chance encounter with the always boozy but merciful Father Tommasso, the young charmer will find refuge into his convent’s sanctuary, on one condition: to pretend he is a deaf-mute. However, Massetto’s tempting presence will unavoidably upset the already frail balance of things within the sexually-repressed female realm, as nun after nun desperately seeks an escape from their tedious way of life and an extra reason to molest the charming handyman. In the end, will those cloistered Sisters finally find out what they had been missing out on all these years?

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