*Trigger Warning* Sexual Violence and Rape
First-time Oscar nominee, actress Carey Mulligan, stars in the thriller “Promising Young Woman,” a wild and cunning story about a woman who seeks revenge on those responsible for the rape of her best friend years prior, in which justice was never served. As her revenge, Cassie (Mulligan) feigns drunkenness at a bar, and “nice guys” (the men from whom she seeks revenge) bring her home, where she reveals her sobriety to them as a way of catching them in the act.
In a phone interview for Good Morning America, Mulligan discusses what made her performance in the film so important and Oscar-worthy. The film isn’t so much focused on revenge but rather on grief. Cassie’s story unfortunately isn’t unique and happens to far too many young women, even in our times of progress. She describes her character as “empowering,” for the women watching this film who have shared similar experiences; they can look to Cassie as a source of hope and strength.
The conversation around sexual assault and rape culture has been dominating the news and social media realm as of late. The timing is perfect for the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards and the film’s nomination for Best Picture.
As of March 27th, the Supreme Court of the state of Minnesota ruled that rape charges are not applicable if the victim was willingly intoxicated when the violence occurred, making several cases of rape in the state legal without any justice for the victim.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 1 in 5 women report an instance of completed or attempted rape to the police sometime in their lifetime, and the bracket for college students is even less, with 1 in 4 women at 33 of the nation’s most prominent institutions.
If you’ve been paying attention to social media the past couple weeks during Women’s History Month, you may recognize the saying “Not all men, but all women.” What this means essentially is that not all men are sexual predators, but the numbers don’t lie, too many men in our society carry on the culture of sexual misconduct and violence towards women; whether it’s their lack of accountability towards themselves or towards their friends.
Too many men are silent towards women’s issues, making them a bystander, complicit to the violence women face at the hands of men who are not taught any better, an ally to sexual predators. Even if a certain male isn’t a sexual predator himself, he is more than likely to have several friends who are, and as their friend, he fails to hold them accountable for their wrongdoing to protect their image.
Though the Minnesota Supreme Court decision was disheartening to millions, the pattern of accountability continues for individuals with a huge platform. Beloved YouTube personality David Dobrik, who made a career off of his charismatic personality with his “Vlog Squad,” has been under fire for his and his friends’ history of rape and sexual assault.
He has since made an apology video, but fans are still not happy with his response and past lack of accountability, denying his old friend Trisha Paytas’ assault allegations against him years prior. He has since lost brand deals with DoorDash, Audible and General Mills, to name a few.
It’s a blessing that “Promising Young Woman” is once again generating Oscar buzz and receiving critical acclaim. Its nomination for Best Picture couldn’t have come at a better time. The film’s goal was to serve as a mirror to society, showing how complicit we are in silencing victims to protect the predators from having their reputations ruined. A famous line in the film is a man saying, “It’s every guy’s worst nightmare getting accused like that” to which Cassie responds, “Can you guess what every woman’s worst nightmare is?”
Stay tuned to see who snags Best Picture at the 93rd Academy Awards on April 25, 2021, 8:00 pm EST on any of your streaming platforms.