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22nd Mar 2021

Promising Young Woman director on the Irish film that influenced her movie

Rory Cashin

We spoke to the very recent Oscar-nominated writer, director, and producer Emerald Fennell about her new movie.

Despite being a teeny, tiny island, our cultural influence can sometimes be felt in every corner of the planet.

Take, for example, Promising Young Woman, the acidic-comedy-thriller from writer, director, and producer Emerald Fennell.

This month, the movie has received no less than FIVE Oscar nominations, including Best Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture, which gives Fennell three Oscar nominations on her first ever movie. Plus there is a Best Actress nomination for Carey Mulligan, and Best Editing.

But when we were lucky enough to have a chat with Fennell about her new movie, it turns out that one of her major influences is a recent Irish movie:

“On a more personal point of view, I like that films that are quite allegorical. Some of my favourites of the last few years has been The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and Midsommar, and a movie that we reference a lot, The Night of the Hunter.

“Because I really do feel that it is such a visual medium, it is a very specific thing, you are there for a very specific amount of time, and so your obligations are different. You don’t have to sustain a story over hours and hours of episodes, so you can be somewhat oblique.

“And you can, also, be slightly heightened. And for me, so many of the films that have really impacted me – even things like Twin Peaks – they have an affect. They feel very, very real, but also feel like Bible stories or fables. That is what this film always felt like to me, that it was specific and kind of fairy tale.”

You can check out our full conversation with Emerald Fennell right here:

Promising Young Woman is coming exclusively to Sky Cinema and streaming service NOW from Friday, 16 April.

This interview was edited slightly for clarity.