The Oscars 2021 are in full swing and Promising Young Woman has already won an award (Best Original Screenplay), so I figured now is as good a time as ever to remind folks of that time when the flick’s lead star, Carey Mulligan, called out a movie over a cooked review.
In the review, critic Dennis Harvey opined that Carey Mulligan looked like she was in “bad drag” playing the lead role of Cassie and, as the actress put it, she “wasn’t hot enough” for the role and that it should have gone to Australian actress Margot Robbie, who serves as producer of the film.
Peep the passage below:
Mulligan, a fine actress, seems a bit of an odd choice as this admittedly many-layered apparent femme fatale — Margot Robbie is a producer here, and one can (perhaps too easily) imagine the role might once have been intended for her. Whereas with this star, Cassie wears her pickup-bait gear like bad drag; even her long blonde hair seems a put-on.
In an interview with The New York Times, Carey Mulligan said that she “winced” as she read those scathing words.
“It felt like it was basically saying that I wasn’t hot enough to pull off this kind of ruse,” she told the Times, adding that she was so scarred by the review, that she could recite passages from memory.
“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.”
Carey Mulligan added that it was “nerve-racking to rock the boat with a big publication”.
“But at the same time it feels like, you’ve got to stand up for these things,” she said. “Otherwise, it continues and then you’re essentially part of it. So I was really sort of surprised and thrilled and happy to have received an apology. I kind of found it moving, in a way – to draw a line and know that had an impact.”
Following her statement, the publication added an apology to the review which now reads:
“Variety sincerely apologises to Carey Mulligan and regrets the insensitive language and insinuation in our review of Promising Young Woman that minimised her daring performance.”
Considering the amount of Oscars the flick was nominated for, I reckon she’s the real winner here.