This week on the podcast we discuss two explorations of rape culture that approach the topic in very different way. We look at Emerald Fennell’s stylish revenge thriller Promising Young Woman and Kitty Green’s The Assistant, a portrait of a young woman working in a misogynistic office environment.
This episode features Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney, Executive Editor Orla Smith, and special guest Lindsay Pugh
Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell, 2020)
Cassie (Carey Mulligan) was a “promising young woman” who dropping out of medical school when her friend Nina died by suicide shortly after being raped and nobody believing her. Now she pretends to be drunk at bars and takes revenge on the men who try to take advantage of her.
The Assistant (Kitty Green, 2020)
Kitty Green’s film chronicles how insidious, powerful men like Jane’s Harvey Weinstein-esque boss (who is never seen on screen and only referred to as “him” or “he”) infect every aspect of office life, even mundane tasks like photocopying and printing. And it’s not just the indiscretions of her unseen, unnamed boss that weigh on Jane: microaggressions from other men in the office build a portrait of a work environment that’s hostile because of pervasive misogyny.
Read the rest of Orla’s discussion of the film with director Kitty Green.
- The Assistant received 8 votes and Promising Young Woman 2 votes in our best films of 2020 critics survey. See the other choices.
- Read Orla’s essay on how how Matthew Macfadyen is the key ingredient that makes the The Assistant‘s best scene so chilling
- Read Lindsay’s review of Promising Young Women
- Read Lindsay on why Julia Garner in The Assistant is one of the year’s 20 best lead performances
The Assistant is available on Crave+ in Canada, Hulu and Kanopy in the US, and Now TV or Sky Go in the UK.
Promising Young Woman is available on VOD in Canada through Cineplex. It will be available soon on VOD in the US and UK