“Promising Young Woman” seems to be on everyone’s lips lately. Whether it’s the brouhaha surrounding Dennis Harvey’s review of the film for Variety or its recent Golden Globes snubbing, the 2020 drama has a lot of people talking. The movie (now streaming on most VOD platforms) serves as the directorial debut for Emerald Fennell, the London-born novelist/”Killing Eve” showrunner/actress best known for her portrayals of Camilla Parker Bowles on “The Crown” and Nurse Patsy Mount on “Call the Midwife.” The quadruple threat – she also penned “Promising Young Woman’s” screenplay – has certainly left a mark on Hollywood with her latest offering – a millennial pink mark at that!
Watching the movie is like stepping into a heavily-stylized pop music video, with candy-hued pastels coloring nearly every vantage point. But in this case, you won’t find Britney Spears shimmying down a hallway or Taylor Swift telling listeners to “calm down.” Instead, the bright backdrop sets the scene for a rather dark revenge story. At its center is Cassie Thomas (Carey Mulligan), a 30-year-old who dropped out of med school seven years prior after her best friend was raped repeatedly by a fellow student throughout an alcohol-fueled evening. Adrift and angry, Cassie now spends her days working in a coffee shop and her nights as a vigilante, avenging men who attempt to take advantage of inebriated women. As Mulligan told Variety, “It’s a sort of beautifully wrapped candy, and when you eat it you realize it’s poisonous.”
Production designer Michael Perry and set decorator Rae Deslich were tasked with creating the movie’s vibrant confectionary-like scenery, which they did with aplomb. For their efforts, Perry earned an Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Award nomination in the Contemporary Feature Film category, while Deslich garnered a nod for Best Achievement in Décor/Design of a Contemporary Film from the first-ever Set Decorators Society of America Awards.
Set in suburban Ohio, “Promising Young Woman” was lensed in the Los Angeles area over a scant 23 days in spring 2019. To accommodate the tight shooting schedule, the locations were greatly consolidated, with several spots pulling double, triple and even quadruple duty onscreen!
Read on for a complete guide to all of the locales used in the film.