The 2020 jmunney Academy Awards

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Promising Young Woman fulfilled plenty of promises for me this year (CREDIT: Focus Features/YouTube Screenshot)

If I were in charge of unilaterally selecting the Oscars, here is who would be selected. Nominees are listed alphabetically, winners in bold.

Best Picture
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Da 5 Bloods
The Invisible Man
Promising Young Woman
Tenet

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Best Movies of 2020

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Clockwise from Top Left: Promising Young Woman (Focus Features); The Invisible Man (Universal Pictures); Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Studios); Da 5 Bloods (David Lee/Netflix)

Cinema has always been an escape, and that escape was sorely needed in 2020. Unfortunately, it was often difficult to get that full immersive experience in a theater during a pandemic. In fact, only one of the movies that made my top 10 list this time around was viewed that way, while the rest I took in at home while doing my best to ward off distractions. So with that in mind, I’m in the mood to just celebrate what I loved most about the movies that I loved that somehow found a way to arrive into the world in the past 12 months. So get ready for a tidal wave of enthusiasm as you read ahead!

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‘Promising Young Woman’ Spoiler-Filled Review Addendum

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Promising Young Woman (CREDIT : Merie Weismiller Wallace/Focus Features)

I’ve already published a rave review of Promising Young Woman that you can check out here, and now that the release date has finally arrived, I’ve got some spoiler-rific thoughts to share. This is all to say: SPOILER ALERT! So you know, don’t read this unless you’ve seen it or if you’re fine with knowing all the details ahead of time.

ONE LAST WARNING! Don’t click ahead unless you really mean to…

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Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 12/25/20

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Death to 2020 (CREDIT: Saeed Adyani/Netflix)

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Promising Young Woman (Theaters)
Soul (December 25 on Disney+)
Wonder Woman 1984 (Theaters and HBO Max)

TV
Death to 2020 – Some sort of comedy special from Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker.
The Masked Dancer Series Premiere (December 27 on FOX) – The Masked Dynasty expands.
New Year’s Eve Toast & Roast (December 31 on FOX) – Hosted by Joel McHale and Ken Jeong!

‘Promising Young Woman’ Fulfills Its Promise, and Then Some

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Promising Young Woman (CREDIT: Focus Features)

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Alison Brie, Connie Britton, Alfred Molina, Chris Lowell, Max Greenfield, Adam Brody, Sam Richardson, Molly Shannon, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

Director: Emerald Fennell

Running Time: 113 Minutes

Rating: R for Twisted Jokes, Drug Spikings, Discussions of Sexual Violence, and Some Up-Close Acute Violence

Release Date: December 25, 2020

Promising Young Woman hooked me immediately with its trailer, seemingly telling me everything I needed to know. When I finally saw the actual movie, it somehow still had plenty of opportunities to surprise me. It fits one of my favorite formulas for all-time great movies: simultaneously exactly what I was hoping for and so different from what I was expecting. Carey Mulligan is a knockout, in every way you can imagine. She plays med school dropout Cassie Thomas, a black widow who lures entitled men into this intoxicating trap she’s cooked up. She pretends to be blackout drunk at bars so that someone will not-so-gallantly bring her home to take advantage of her, at which point she drops the charade and spooks like them like a zombie popping out of the grave. She has her own history with assault, but she’s also an avenging angel taking on the entirety of rape culture.

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