The Academy Awards are on Sunday, perhaps you’ve heard? This is the biggest day in moviedom as the best of film is announced. Among those nominated this year is Carey Mulligan, who gave my favorite performance of the year in Promising Young Woman. She’s a front-runner and, if I had my way, she’d be the winner on Sunday night.
If you haven’t seen Promising Young Woman, what are you waiting for? If, like me, you loved Mulligan in the role, you’re probably wanting to watch her shine in other films. If that’s you, you’re in luck. In honor of Mulligan and her Oscar run, this week’s Binge Watch will tackle some films from her career. So, buckle up, get ready and dive in! Also, be sure to share your favorite Carey Mulligan performance in the comments! All films will appear in chronological order.
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
About: This isn’t really Mulligan’s film. She plays Kitty Bennett here, arguably the least developed sister in the story. Keira Knightly and Rosamund Pike were more the stars, but this was Mulligan’s first screen credit and has the advantage of being a good film. It’s worth checking out to see where her journey began.
An Education (2009)
About: This one set in the 1960s in England centers on a high school student, Jenny (Mulligan), who is heading toward a bright future at a university when an older man, David (Peter Sarsgaard), starts a relationship and pulls her toward a different path. This one was a Best Picture nominee and earned Mulligan her first Best Actress nomination. To be fair, I don’t love the film or it’s story. I do think Mulligan is great, reuniting with Pike, who plays a supporting role here.
About: Mulligan co-starred in a couple indie films with a cult following in 2011. One was Shame, opposite Michael Fassbender. The other was Drive, opposite Ryan Gosling. This film from director Nicolas Winding Refn is a great, moody starring vehicle for Gosling. Mulligan does a nice job as the love interest, and catalyst for a lot of the story here. Her work earned her a BAFTA nomination as Best Supporting Actress.
The Great Gatsby (2013)
About: Mulligan pulled another high-profile double in 2013. This first one is a modern re-telling of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, where Mulligan played Daisy Buchanan opposite Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio. This film, from director Baz Luhrmann, has plenty of style and a fun soundtrack. Mulligan does a nice job, but this isn’t a film that resonated with me as much as it did some others.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
About: Mulligan’s other film was a co-starring role in the Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis, where she played Jean, the sometime romantic partner, sometime sparring partner for the titular Llewyn (Oscar Isaac). Mulligan isn’t the focus here, but she has some good moments. The music in this one is great, and Isaac is fun as the lead. This is a good watch.
About: Mulligan plays a woman caught between two brothers (Garrett Hedlund and Jason Clarke) in this dour drama set on a farm in rural Mississippi after World War II. Dee Rees film earned four Academy Award nominations and is mostly remembered for its powerful story dealing with heartbreak and racism. Mulligan gives a good performance and is a catalyst to the story of the brothers in this film that is a tough watch but worth the effort.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a proud member of the Drive-In Podcast Network.