I'm actually gonna disagree here. I get what you're saying, and I think that your suggestions might be more in line with the conventional flattering portrait. The thing is, I don't think that that's what this image is about. To me, this image is kind of dark, and it goes down to her pose and the expression on her face. Maybe I'm way off base, but I think there's sort of a sad and uncomfortable quality there, and I think it'd be better for THIS particular image to embrace that rather than to try to make the image into a completely different kind of image. If it needs to be a conventional flattering portrait, then it needs to be shot again. But otherwise, I think the original image is kind of working.
1) Yes, I think the original image is a bit dark. But "dark" seems to be kind of what the image is about. I don't think you can mess with that too much (but maybe a little bit is okay) without severely mucking up what makes the image appealing. I like this image because it IS dark (not just in terms of exposure, but in terms of concept). The dark values match the darkness in the concept. Maybe the two together is sort of forcing the point, but on a hypothetical level it makes sense to me that the dark values work. It seems appropriate.
2) On the crop. I prefer the wider shot with the empty wall. Yeah, that's not normally what I'd recommend. But in this case it kind of works, I think. That empty space reinforces the uncomfortable look in her face. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think she looks happy (even with the crop). She looks uncomfortable. Showing more of the wall sort of emphasizes the point that she's alone in her discomfort. It increases the distances between her and anything else she can relate to, it makes her more lonely and isolated and distant. Yes, that evokes discomfort, but her expression seems to be stating discomfort anyway so I think it's at least appropriate to embrace that.