‘Promising Young Woman’ | Anatomy of a Scene


Hi, I’m Emerald Fennell – the writer and director of Promising Young Woman. But why are you wearing all that makeup? May I ask you? “This scene comes in the first part of the film, in which we see Cassandra – played by Carey Mulligan – in one of her nightly activities. And she and Neil – played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse – met in a club , or rather, he found her in a club and brought her home. I’m not feeling well. Could you get me a glass of water? “” Yeah sure. “And I think the special thing about this scene is that it is kind of a subversion of many of the scenes we might have seen in romantic comedies – the nerdy nice guy who isn’t very safe with women may use alcohol as a cover for more nefarious activities. “Hello! Hello. There you are. You fell asleep. “And I think what’s so beautifully played in this scene, really by Carey and Chris, is that you both see – how they communicate with each other and how they communicate with us, the audience. And so it is also with Cassie – at this point we know she isn’t drunk even if he doesn’t. And there are few moments when a lot of the conversations have been with Carey, at what point do we want to see that? “No. Do not go. Stay. “And also, if he comes back and thinks she’s going to pass out, this nice guy falls away. So it feels like he feels like he is in work. So it’s that kind of subversion or perversion what we’re used to when it comes to seduction in movies and what people either think is appropriate or what they can get away with. “Do I have to go home?” It was very important to me in this movie that we really see things that are just incredibly commonplace. “I just thought you were …” “Drunk?” “Yes.” “Really drunk?” That it’s not uncommon for men to pick up more than just drunk girls and this as some kind of green Look at the light, but have them speak almost exclusively in a monologue. “Up now. I don’t know what I’m doing. I think you should go.” But a second ago you were determined that I should stay. They were actually pretty persistent. ““ I’m a nice guy. ”“ Are you? ”“ I thought we had a connection, I guess. ”“ A connection? OK What do I do for a living? Sorry, maybe this is too hard. How old am I? How long have I lived in the city? What are my hobbies? What’s my name? “That’s what you often find – when Cassie meets these men. She deliberately does nothing to invite their progress. And when you look at Chris’ performance. What I said to him – as I really did to everyone in that movie – was, this is your movie. You are the romantic hero. You are the nice guy. And that’s that you fall in love. Because you feel such a connection with this girl, because you like her hair and she wears a leopard print skirt and she’s in your apartment. So that has to be love. And it’s definitely nothing else. “I’m a nice guy.” “You keep saying that, but you’re not as rare as you are think. Do you know how I know? “With Carey, who is just supernaturally talented. It was about being both incredibly real and grounded in the moment and in their anger and all of that. But it’s also aware of what – once the turning point happens, what Neil believes will happen and what we, the audience, can think.



Robert Dunfee