Emerald Fennell
Emerald Fennell attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

At the 2021 Academy Awards, the subject matter of sexual assault and toxic masculinity took center stage as Emerald Fennell was honored with Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman – her directorial debut.

The film follows Cassie (Carey Mulligan) who seeks to avenge the death of her best friend Nina, a victim of rape. Not only does Cassie confront the men responsible for the grievous crime, she highlights how women are complicit too.

I was warned in the lead up to watching the film that it’d force me to question my past actions as a woman. In fact, this film will forever be embedded in my mind. Today, Promising Young Woman was honored the way it deserves, on the global stage, in Hollywood (that is, the center of the #MeToo movement). Fennell was a strong favorite for the Academy Award after winning Best Original Screenplay at the BAFTAs and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Writing on the film in an essay for The Timesshe said, “I wanted to write something that didn’t feel like medicine, that would be accessible and gripping and funny, even at its darkest,” Fennell said. “A film that anyone could watch and discuss: a poison popcorn movie.”

Promising Young Woman
Carey Mulligan stars as “Cassandra” in director Emerald Fennell’s PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, a Focus Features release.
Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features

Fennell is also known for her roles in Netflix series,The Crown and Call The Midwife. What’s next? We can only look forward to more meaningful film making to come.

This month, it was announced the film would be available for college students to stream for free.