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)

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

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When a massive fire kills their parents, three children are delivered to the custody of cousin and stage actor Count Olaf, who is secretly plotting to steal their parents’ vast fortune. (IMDb)
The best scene is the letter-reading and the epilogue that follows (“what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey”) but the emotional release is not what it could’ve been thanks to a slapdash (a word which here means way too fucking rushed) script that never sits with any of the suffering, and it’s unfortunately never sharp or coherent enough to work as a quick and quirky dark comedy either. Some performances and CGI are a tad iffy yet too.
5.5/10 (Poor)

 

Legally Blonde (2001)

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Elle Woods, a fashionable sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend. She decides to follow him to law school, while she is there she figures out that there is more to her than just looks. (IMDb)
Plays up a lot of stereotypes–ditzy blonde only being one of them–but at least to the central one it offers a unique “both/and” response too: You can be both boy-crazy and a Harvard student; you can wear pink and be a serious lawyer (see Elle’s return to the courtroom); you can be smart and silly (see Elle’s mature grad speech ending with a squealed “We did it!”). Witherspoon, Wilson, and Coolidge with her side-romance with the handsome postman are all charming in this fluffy but pleasant flick.
6.5/10 (Alright)