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Carey Mulligan as Cassandra in director Emerald Fennell's "Promising Young Woman." 

Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on “Promising Young Woman,” which is rated R and available on DVD.

“Promising Young Woman,” which is nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director and Original Screenplay, includes more than one surprise as it tells its story.

Nominated for an Academy Award for her acting in “Promising Young Woman,” Carey Mulligan stars as Cassandra “Cassie” Thomas, who has dropped out of medical school and works at a coffee shop to the frustration of her mother (played by Jennifer Coolidge).

Ryan (Bo Burnham), a young doctor who knows Cassie from college, runs into her at the coffee shop. When Cassie agrees to go on a date with Ryan, the movie offers up a mini-love story that was a little unexpected. Don’t get me wrong, though, “Promising Young Woman” is far from a romance film. With some scenes that are difficult to watch, this film explores the line between right and wrong and the results of bad actions in addition to the consequences of not taking action when something wrong is happening.

Also, “Promising Young Woman,” which is directed and written by Emerald Fennell, focuses on how the loss of a loved one can have a lasting impact. Cassie is devastated by the death of Nina, a childhood friend who had been attending college classes with her. Cassie is compelled by something that happened to Nina before she died to make people realize their mistakes. The movie shows us how Cassie goes about seeking to make others understand how they hurt her friend.

This interesting and thought-provoking film includes roles for Molly Shannon as Nina’s mother and Laverne Cox as Cassie’s boss and friend.

As “Promising Young Woman” draws to its conclusion, viewers should be prepared for another plot twist or two.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.

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