Promising Young Woman (2020)

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A young woman haunted by a tragedy in her past takes revenge on the predatory men unlucky enough to cross her path. (Letterboxd)
A fascinating mix of (butt)cheeky feminist satire, incredibly tense vigilante thrills, and complex character drama (Mulligan chews licorice and scenery). Questions of justice and forgiveness are tackled at each level within an unpredictable, detailed narrative (see the contrast in address-procuring between Jordan and Ryan). Not everything works (Ryan’s turn felt a bit unfounded; just the “happy” wedding would have been a more impactful ending) but the whole remains compelling. Great soundtrack.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

The Land of Steady Habits (2018)

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Feeling trapped in the stifling, wealthy enclave of Westport, Connecticut, Anders Harris (Ben Mendelsohn) retires from his job in finance and leaves his wife (Edie Falco) in the hopes that it will renew his lust for life. (IMDb)
“I got a cigar burnt on my forehead [does that really get you your own hospital room, btw? I feel like not] so that totally makes up for all the shitty and inexplicable things I did and definitely warrants my redemption and slight smile to end the film.” NOT. Compelling enough content and characters, but it’s awkwardly written (so much contrived swearing) and very poorly edited (scenes are jarringly mushed together, and even the seams between different takes for a scene are noticeable).
5/10 (Poor)

 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

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High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer. (IMDb)
Beautiful and uniquely shot cinematography (with good music) and an engaging narrated story set-up (with its fair share of quirky characters–see Offerman’s oddball dad) set a nice tone for this indie flick that does falter slightly in its storytelling (see Greg’s weakly justified narration lie, him and Earl’s unfounded fallout, the slightly dragged out ending), but some poignant time-passing montages and climactic scenes (the hospital film viewing, Greg exploring Rachel’s room) do wonders.
7.5/10 (Really Good)