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Promising Young Woman deals with a gritty topic but balances it with a comedic tone. There were enough entertaining moments to reel in interest from viewers. Nevertheless, critics had differing opinions about the movie.

Some of the critiques were toward Carey Mulligan, who played the lead. A portion of the criticism had to do with the actor’s appearance. Mulligan had an issue with a particular review and responded to it in an interview.

One film review suggests Carey Mulligan was not right for the role

Reviews are common whenever a new movie comes out, and many people look to a critic’s opinion. Articles may go over the writing, performances, and other film elements. Therefore, Variety was one of the many sources people went to for a review of Promising Young Woman.

The article discusses that the movie falls under the category of female revenge fantasy. The story uses multiple genre tropes to depict a woman targeting men who try to take advantage of drunk women. Nevertheless, the stylistic elements do not seem to “cohere as a whole.”

Then, the review mentions how Carey Mulligan was a strange choice for the main role. The reason is the protagonist is more of a femme fatale. The reviewer implies the character type would have been better for Margot Robbie, the movie’s producer.

One of the comments about Mulligan as Cassie was that her hair seemed like it was a wig. Not to mention, the outfit she wore to lure men looked like “bad drag.” Furthermore, the accent the actor uses sounded “meta” to some people.

Carey Mulligan gave a response to the review

Carey Mulligan at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, for 'Promising Young Woman'
Carey Mulligan at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Carey Mulligan had a strong desire to play Cassie in Promising Young Woman. She pursued the project since she could not imagine anyone else fulfilling the role. Therefore, she reacted to the Variety review that implied she got miscast.

“It wasn’t some sort of ego-wounding thing — like, I fully can see that Margot Robbie is a goddess,” Mulligan explained, according to The New York Times. “It drove me so crazy. I was like, ‘Really? For this film, you’re going to write something that is so transparent? Now? In 2020?’ I just couldn’t believe it.”

One theme of the movie deals with the expectations of how women must look and act. However, the Variety review seemed to have missed the point. It suggested that Mulligan was not attractive enough to be Cassie.

“We don’t allow women to look normal anymore, or like a real person,” Mulligan stated. “Why does every woman who’s ever onscreen have to look like a supermodel? That has shifted into something where the expectation of beauty and perfection onscreen has gotten completely out of control.”

‘Promising Young Woman’ had a positive reception


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Promising Young Woman was released In December 2020, and many people tuned in to watch. The immediate reception from critics and general audiences was overwhelmingly positive. People have enjoyed the actors’ performances and the film’s screenplay.

The comedy thriller did so well that it received multiple nominations for the Golden Globes in 2021. A couple of the categories included Best Screenplay and Best Director. Of course, the movie also received various other awards that same year.

Even Carey Mulligan got some nominations for her role in Promising Young Woman. For instance, she was up for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Motion Picture. She also won a Critics’ Choice Movie Award, among other accolades.

However, Mulligan was already an established actor before appearing in the comedy thriller. She gained attention for her character in Pride & Prejudice. Mulligan starred alongside other well-known cast members as Kitty Bennet. Now, she has accumulated a net worth in the millions.