Sunday, April 4, 2010

Carey Mulligan: Films So Far, Films to Come

With rumors of Carey Mulligan starring in a My Fair Lady remake, I looked at her other films and attempted to judge what her future in Hollywood will have to offer: big-budget blockbusters and sequels or smaller, plot- or character-driven films. Perhaps a mix of both.

Mulligan got her big acting break as Kitty Bennet in Pride & Prejudice (2005) alongside Keira Knightley, Judi Dench, and Donald Sutherland. The period piece was a hit. But while it did a lot for director Joe Wright's career, as well as Knightley's career but for Mulligan, the next few years were limited to appearances on British television programs.

Her next American big screen appearance was in a film called And When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007). The film centered around Colin Firth's performance and Mulligan had a very small role, much smaller than her next two roles.

The Greatest (2009) and An Education (2009) both premiered at Sundance and were met with positive reviews (my reviews included). In The Greatest, Mulligan plays a young pregnant woman who's forced to meet her lover's family when he dies unexpectedly. Acting alongside Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan, the young unknown completely stole my heart and then stole it again in An Education. If you've yet to see An Education, shame. Her performance was one of the strongest of the year--even if she was overlooked by Academy voters--and if you can get past the lovers' 20+ year age difference, you'll most likely find it enjoyable. Greatest has yet to seen a wide-release date, or even a limited-release date, An Education is everywhere.

On the heels of her Oscar-nominated performance, Mulligan signed on to three films guaranteed to see the light of day. Michael Mann (Heat) directed her in Public Enemies. Next, she co-starred with Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Natalie Portman in Brothers. Mulligan's next film is a sequel to Oliver Stone's classic, Wall Street.

It's this one, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, that has me worried. First, she's co-starring with her boyfriend, Shia LaBeouf (of Transformers fame). Second, it's a big budget sequel. Third, it's supposedly not too good. There's just something about big budget sequels (especially the ones that aren't too good) that convinces talented performers to give up smaller, introspective, character-driven, CGI-less films forever. I really hope that's not the case.

Never Let Me Go is scheduled to come out later this year. Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) is directing another thriller, this one adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro's ("The Remains of the Day") novel of the same name. Keira Knightley co-stars and from the info I've been able to find online, Wall Street: Part Deux this is not. Don't quote me on this (unless I turn out to be right) but Never Let Me Go will be a step in the right direction for Mulligan's career. And if My Fair Lady ends up happening, I think it will be too.

All is not lost for Carey Mulligan. As long as she avoids any Transformers scripts that Shia has lying around the house, I'd bet we have years of high-quality films/performances from my new favorite actress.
My Fair Lady (2012)


xTJMac510x said...

I love Carey. I think she has so much potential (I thought she should have won the Oscar in my opinion) and I can't wait to see more from her.

Heather said...

Me, Lyndsey, Drew, and Luke watched An Education on Friday night. Luke fell asleep, Lyndsey and Drew thought it was okay, and I was in love with it. All of us, though, agreed that Carey was fantastic in it. I look forward to see her in more things, and hope she stays as good.

whitney said...

Who's that guy in the middle again?