Sorry for taking over 10 months to update this page but here is all the news relating the Carey over this time

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Carey Mulligan makes her mark

Get ready to hear a lot more about indie films' newest It Girl

PARK CITY, Utah -- Some things can't be taught.

Such as how to manage the whiplash stardom that arrives with being Hollywood's newest overnight sensation.

Just ask little-known British actress Carey Mulligan, who finds herself hailed as the industry's It Girl after breaking big at this year's just-wrapped Sundance film festival.

Until a week ago, few outside the industry knew Mulligan's name. Now the 23-year-old is being compared to everyone from Ellen Page to Audrey Hepburn.

No pressure or anything.

"It's a crazy circus, quite an out-of-body experience, very surreal," she tells Sun Media. "This is my first festival, period, so I've got to enjoy it because I'll never have it again -- it's all downhill from here."

Don't bet on it. Mulligan is a stand-out in two very different films: the tear-jerker The Greatest and the coming-of-age memoir An Education.

In the latter, she plays Jenny, an English teenager in the 1960s seduced by an older man played by Peter Saarsgard. Adapted by High Fidelity and About A Boy author Nick Hornby and directed by Lone Scherfig, it's generated the most critical accolades of any film at this Sundance.

Reviews for The Greatest have been more tepid -- aside from raves for Mulligan's turn as a pregnant 18-year-old who, after the baby's father is killed in a car accident, moves in with his mourning parents, played by Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon. And yet, as with all Next Big Things, it has been a career years in the making for Mulligan.

"It's been a very long process," she says, recalling how she first auditioned for An Education in 2006.

Shortly thereafter the production collapsed before eventually being remounted with Scherfig at the helm.

"It's always touch and go on all independent films. I never let myself believe it would really get filmed until I was on the set," says Mulligan, who has small roles in two upcoming high-profile movies: Michael Mann's Public Enemies opposite Johnny Depp and the war-themed drama Brothers with Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire.

Now, though, An Education is both finished -- and poised for release. After a bidding war, distributor Sony Pictures Classics snapped it up for $3 million, buoyed by the buzz for Mulligan's performance as a 16-year-old who transforms from middle-class teenager to worldly woman.

"Playing 16, you are so bad -- or I was at least -- at capping emotions and holding back and not saying the first thing that comes into my head. And that's what Jenny does a lot of," she says. "I was quite socially awkward. Not an introvert but I could say the wrong thing quite a lot. I was always massively enthusiastic. I never had a cool thing. Even now I'm not cool."

For proof of this, she offers up her recent appearance on the Sundance party scene.

"We went to see some big DJ. We got in, right next to the speakers and deck, apparently the best seats in the place. But it was so loud and unpleasant. I'm sure he's brilliant at what he does, but it's so not my scene."

Moreover, Mulligan is swiftly learning that once you have success as an actor, you no longer have your characters to hide behind.

"I love telling stories and love being somebody else. I'm not so good at being myself. I can't public speak and a lot of the time I can't articulate myself very well, so I think I really enjoy playing other people more than I like being me. I find that whole photo-taking quite difficult.

"When I get here and I'm wearing a dress and they're taking my picture and saying, 'Give us something' you're like, 'Give me a character.' It's very hard to just be you when you're used to being other people. This public side of things is tricky. I don't know what kind of look to pull. I can't stand there with my hand on my hip. I just kind of stand and stare and hope that's good enough."


This fame lark is quite an education

Carey Mulligan has been turning heads. The 23-year-old London-born actress had a meeting with Warren Beatty in Los Angeles.

'It's surreal!' she told me. 'I was thinking: "I'm talking to Warren Beatty - what is going on?"'

When I spoke to Geoff Gilmore, the director of the Sundance Film Festival, and mentioned Carey's name, his eyes lit up. 'Where did she come from?' he asked.

Well, London, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Wales - and Bleak House and Dr Who - is the short answer.

Harvey Weinstein called her the 'belle' of the festival, and her gamine beauty has been compared to that of a young Shirley MacLaine or Audrey Hepburn. She arrived in Park City, high up in the snowy mountains above Salt Lake City, Utah, with two films: An Education and The Greatest. And she's beyond sublime in both.

In An Education - written by Nick Hornby from Lynn Barber's brief memoir about class, sexual mores and education in the early Sixties (before they started swinging) in Twickenham - Carey plays a 16-year-old schoolgirl whose eyes are opened wider than is polite by an older Lothario.

Then, in The Greatest, which is a big weepie, she plays an American college student who is forced by circumstances to live with her boyfriend's parents, played by Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan.

Carey has two other films due out this year, which explains why, whenever I bumped into her, she had a different hairstyles.

She went Jean Harlow-esque peroxide-blonde to play a Thirties flapper - a small role - opposite Johnny Depp's John Dillinger in Michael Mann's Public Enemies. 'I'm in a nightie, smoking a cigarette, playing a high-class hooker - and then Dillinger dumps me for Marion Cotillard,' Carey said with a laugh.

She was struck by the difference in scale of working on An Education, where every penny counted, to the set of Public Enemies in Chicago, where one scene might feature 300 extras, 50 vintage cars and enough food to feed a small country. 'You could eat anything you wanted, at any hour!' she marvelled.

Carey's a film festival virgin and was pleasantly shocked by the circus-like atmosphere.

'I've never had my photograph taken in the street before, other than when I've been with Keira. But it's happened here - although it hasn't got to a madness level,' she said, referring to the intense paparazzi attention on Keira Knightley, with whom she worked on Pride And Prejudice (Carey played Kitty Bennet). She also met Rosamund Pike on that movie and they're together again in An Education.

She has more movies to make this year, but next spring Carey hopes to return to the stage (she was in The Seagull at the Royal Court and on Broadway with Kristin Scott Thomas) in another Chekhov, Uncle Vanya, starring Ralph Fiennes and Ken Stott, and directed by Matthew Warchus.

When we chatted in Park City, Carey told me she felt jetlagged, even though she wasn't. 'It's like I'm out of my body and looking down, going: "What's going on?" '

What's going on? A star is being born, that's what.


Carey Mulligan is a Sundance sensation

A 23-year-old British actress called Carey Mulligan (pictured) has become an overnight Hollywood sensation at the Sundance film festival, now underway in Utah. She's the star of An Education, a coming-of-age drama based on the Observer journalist Lynn Barber's early 1960s memoir about a 16-year-old schoolgirl who falls in love with an older man.

Directed by Lone Scherfig, the Danish filmmaker known for her 2000 comedy Italian for Beginners, and with a script by the London writer Nick Hornby, the film has been receiving rave reviews since it was screened on Sunday night. “There's no movie in this festival that's quite as ravishing, as witty, as well-acted or as satisfying overall as An Education," writes Andrew O’Hehir on He goes on to describe Mulligan’s turn as the precocious 16-year-old Jenny as “a performance of Audrey Hepburn-esque starmaking intensity”.

The ”older man”, a 30-something bounder who drives a sports car, charms her parents (Alfred Molina and Cara Seymour) and steers Jenny off the path to Oxford, is played by the American actor Peter Sarsgaard. Emma Thompson plays Jenny’s strict headmistress and Olivia Williams her favourite teacher.

But the break-out performance comes from the little-known Mulligan, who until now has had parts in Waking the Dead and Doctor Who and the regulation costume dramas. According to a review on, Mulligan is "fantastic, utterly believable as a schoolgirl who desperately wants to be seen as a sophisticated adult".

An Education began as a 12-page story by Barber, best known for her newspaper interviews, in Granta magazine. Some critics are already claiming it’s the best film at Sundance and, to the delight of Hornby and Scherfig, Sony have snapped up the US distribution rights for between $3m - $4m.


An Education’s Carey Mulligan on Not Playing a Lolita

Carey Mulligan had this year’s one true star-is-born moment at Sundance. She’s on her way to being a serious movie star, with a sharp ensemble part in The Greatest and a gobsmacking star turn in the Nick Hornby–scripted An Education. We spoke to Mulligan about having an “out-of-body experience” at Sundance and realizing how young she looks in a school uniform.

You’re the talk of the festival. Are things getting busy for you?
It’s been mostly photos and TV-thingies. This is the first day I’ve really interviewed all day. I am not bored or jaded. I’ve never really done very much of this. I am having an out-of-body experience.

You’re such a newcomer, I know next to nothing about you — sorry! Where are you from?
I was born in London, lived in Germany until I was 8. My father ran hotels. And then back. Now I’m just outside London. I acted all the way through school. My first job was Pride and Prejudice when I was 18 turning 19, and then I just carried on after that.

You’ve worked on stage and TV, but this is your first starring film role. How’d you nab it?
I got the job about five months before I started shooting, but I’d read it two years before. I felt like it’d just been going on for ever and ever and ever, and I’d wanted it forever. It’s so disheartening and sad when independent films collapse. So I tried to not get my hopes up. When we started shooting, I was like, “Really? Okay.”

Was there any advice from Susan Sarandon or Emma Thompson for the newcomer?
You learn a lot about how to handle yourself on a film set from people like Emma. At the end of the day, she bought three crates of wine and beer, and pizza for the whole crew, and I thought, “Now that’s a proper leading lady…”

Most people will assume you’re 16, but you’re really 23. How’d you tap into a teenage self?
Mainly it was just thinking about the awkwardness of being 16 and your inability to cap your emotions — your inability to stop yourself from saying what’s on the tip of your tongue. Then I watched it, and I was like, “I don’t think I look that young.” And when I am in a school uniform, I’m like, “I am a child, it’s so horrible!”

You don’t play a victim, and Sarsgaard doesn’t play a predator. But she’s clearly being taken advantage of…
I wouldn’t want it to be that sort of young girl, completely being taken advantage of — and I don’t think you’ve seen a film with this kind of dynamic. There are scenes where she initiates things, actually flips it round. He is not a bad guy; he is not a villain; there’s nothing sexual about what they have together. When it collapses, it collapses because he is just [such] a lost soul.

There’s been a bit of silly controversy in America over The Reader, since Kate Winslet’s middle-aged character seduces a teenage boy. Has that been on your radar?
I don’t know how an American audience would view it, but for an English audience, sex is consensual from 16. Sixteen or seventeen seems fairly respectable to most people, I think.

So what’s next?
I am doing Uncle Vanya in spring 2010. And I just finished this film with Jim Sheridan, my first time doing an American accent, improvising, whilst holding a 3-month-old baby. It was just intense.



PARK CITY, Utah - A little-known 24-year-old British actress has emerged as the "It" girl of this year's Sundance Film Festival. Carey Mulligan is being compared to Audrey Hepburn for her vastly different performances in two films directed by women that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

MORE: Lou Blogs From the Sundance Film Festival

In Lone Scherfig's "An Education," which has garnered perhaps the best critical response of any film so far, she plays an English schoolgirl in the early 1960s who is seduced by a sophisticated 30-something man played by Peter Saarsgard. Scripted by novelist Nick Hornby, "An Education" co-stars Dominic Cooper, Emma Thompson, Alfred Molina and Sally Hawkins.

Mulligan plays an 18-year-old American in first-time director Shana Feste's "The Greatest," which premiered in the dramatic competition. Critical response to this tearjerker shot in Nyack, NY, has been mixed.

But Mulligan was acclaimed for her performance as a young woman who becomes pregnant during a one-night stand with a classmate. He dies in a car accident - and she goes to live with his grieving parents, played by Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan.

Mulligan, who had small roles in "Pride and Prejudice" and "And When Did You Last See Your Father?," will be seen later this year in a pair of big-budget American flicks, "Public Enemies" opposite Johnny Depp and "Brothers" with Jake Gyllenhaal. In the meantime, buyers are reportedly pursuing both of her Sundance titles. The producers of "An Education" accepted a $3 million bid yesterday from Sony Pictures Classics.

Searchlight did snap up a low-buzz title, "Adam," for an undisclosed sum. Max Mayer's romantic dramedy stars Hugh Dancy as a Manhattanite with Aspberger's syndrome who falls for neighbor Rose Byrne.

And Magnolia was reported to have paid in the low to mid- six figures for rights to "Humpday," one of the most talked-about starless titles at the festival.

Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard, veterans of the DIY, improvised genre known as mumblecore, star as two straight guys who plan to make a gay porn movie together in the comedy, directed by Lynn Shelton.

In a sign of the rapidly changing direction of distribution for small indie features, "Humpday" will be made available on video-on-demand a month before its theatrical debut this summer.And IFC announced it would use its video-on-demand network to make five features available simultaneously with their debuts at March's South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas.


* -

A Young Actress Wins Over Sundance

It would be an understatement to call actress Carey Mulligan busy. The newcomer spent the better part of the last year shooting two films back-to-back — “An Education,” and “The Greatest” — followed by making her Broadway debut as Nina in the acclaimed revival of “The Seagull” opposite Kristin Scott Thomas. And so far, critics and audiences alike have been pleased to meet the button-nosed 23-year-old: “An Education” sparked a bidding war at the Sundance Film Festival after its premiere before finally selling to Sony Classics for a rumored $4 million, and her turn in “The Greatest” also won strong reviews at the festival.

“It’s been a really good year,” says the London native, who manages to exude Brit appeal while in Park City, Utah, thanks in part to a pinstripe blazer pinched from her “An Education” co-star Peter Sarsgaard’s significant other, Maggie Gyllenhaal. “I went to her house and she had bags and bags from cleaning out her closet, so I did rather well,” Mulligan says.

Costume played an important role in “An Education,” a Nick Hornby-scripted film based on famed British journalist Lynn Barber’s coming-of-age memoir set in swanky Sixties London and Paris. As Jenny, a precocious 16-year-old whose aspirations for Oxford are derailed by an older man (Sarsgaard), Mulligan alternates between little-girl kilts and sophisticated frocks. “It was really funny. The male camera crew couldn’t adjust to a 22-year-old actress in a schoolgirl uniform,” she laughs. Of the more sophisticated dresses she dons as Sarsgaard’s arm candy, she says, “I wanted to keep all of them.” She only made off with one, though, plus the Prada heels that went with it.

“I just thought Jenny was such a brilliant female character,” continues Mulligan, whose co-stars include British actresses Emma Thompson, Olivia Williams, Rosamund Pike, Sally Hawkins and Cara Seymour. “When you’re 16, there’s a lot going on with hormones and becoming a woman. It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind and that’s what she does.”

Mulligan had to switch gears — and accents — to make “The Greatest,” a contemporary film costarring Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon as a couple who lose a child. “We shot ‘The Greatest’ in 25 days, so it really was the fastest you could work,” she says. “It was brilliant because it was my first American lead role, so that was a real challenge.”

Although she never had formal acting training, Mulligan landed her first film role at an open casting call for 2005’s “Pride and Prejudice,” starring Keira Knightley. Having such experienced co-stars has certainly helped the budding starlet find her footing. “It’s like one great drama training for me every time I meet someone like Pierce or Emma,” she says. “I just try and watch and learn as much as I can.”

And despite her burgeoning film career, Mulligan vows to act in at least one play a year. “Next year I’m doing ‘Uncle Vanya’ in the West End [in London]. I’m trying to knock out all the Chekhov while I’m still young,” she laughs (as it turns out, Gyllenhaal has reportedly been approached to appear in the production as well).

Between jobs, Mulligan heads to her family’s house in the Austrian Alps to ski and hike, and goes to the theater. “I’m going to fly to New York on the way home to see my friend Jenna Malone in ‘Mourning Becomes Electra’ and I’m seeing ‘The Cherry Orchard,’” she says.

She may also do some shopping — her favorite labels include Chloé and Miu Miu. “I borrowed my friend’s Miu Miu handbag for Sundance because I’m completely obsessed with it, but I can never shell out the money to buy it,” she sighs.


* -

The Greatest - News Round Up

The Greatest

Starring Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon, The Greatest marks the debut of a young filmmaker and screenwriter, Shana Feste, and follows a family coping with the sudden death of their teenage son. Newcomer Carey Mulligan plays the girlfriend of the son who shows up to further complicate the grieving process for the parents. There's some buzz about both Brosnan's and Sarandon's performances as well as talk that this could be a "career-launching" role for Mulligan.

Pierce Brosnan Makes Up For Mamma Mia!

Pierce Brosnan, in search of a career path post James Bond, didn’t do himself any favors singing in the film of “Mamma Mia!” He was awful in a cheap looking, terrible movie that was an inexplicable hit.

But with “The Greatest,” which premiered last night at Sundance, all is forgiven. Brosnan and the remarkable Susan Sarandon are just perfect in a film that clearly echoes Robert Redford’s classic “Ordinary People” but has enough new twists to make it very interesting.

In the film, Allen (Brosnan) and Grace (Sarandon)’s 18-year-old son has been killed in a car accident just after losing his virginity to the girl he loves and graduating from high school. Director Shana Feste indicates well enough that Bennett (Aaron Johnson) has been the apple of their eyes. But they still have a younger teenage son (Johnny Simmons) to deal with, plus Allen’s been having an affair with a fellow professor at his college, so you know the marriage hasn’t been perfect.

Grief envelopes the family. Grace is obsessed with the man whose truck collided with her son’s and keeps vigil at his coma bedside to find out what Bennett might have said in his final moments. Allen bottles up his emotions until they make him ill. Ryan has a teen drug problem, and goes on the sly to group therapy. And there’s Bennett’s girlfriend. She’s pregnant.

Feste could have turned this all into bad “Ordinary People” or a soap opera. A first time director and screenwriter, she takes her team into a field already well trodden with clichés. But she manages to avoid most of them, and carve out a simple new take on an old story with class and subtlety. Carey Mulligan makes a powerful debut herself as Rose, the pregnant and scared girlfriend. Sarandon is a knockout as the grieving and not necessarily sympathetic mom. And Brosnan, this time, is in right key.

Sundance Review: The Greatest

As I was walking out of the theater after seeing The Greatest, I had the urge to find myself a broom closet or some other nearby private place so I could cry for at least five minutes. It’s that type of movie and not just because it’s so sad. It’s a very emotional film all around that will likely have people dabbing their eyes as they watch two parents come to terms with the loss of their son. The Greatest is both heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once.

The film opens with a semi-steamy scene between Bennett (Aaron Johnson) and Rose (Carey Mulligan). Afterwards when they’re in the car together, Bennett is about to confess his feelings to Rose when a truck hits them from behind and Bennett is killed. The story follows Bennett’s mother (Susan Sarandon), father (Pierce Brosnan), his brother Ryan (Johnny Simmons) and almost-girlfriend Rose (Carey Mulligan) as each of them grieves both separately and together for the loss of Bennett, whom we learn throughout the movie, was an all around great guy.

Bennett’s mother grieves day and night for her son, while his father is attempts to detach himself from the loss in an effort to stay strong for his family. Ryan has lived in the shadow of his brother all of his life and now even after his brother’s death he’s still playing second fiddle. He turns to a teen grief support group where he meets Ashley (Zoe Kravitz), another grieving sibling who understands what he’s going through. Rose, shows up at Bennett’s family’s house to introduce herself and having no where else to go, they agree to take her in. Her presence adds a new layer of grief as Rose wants to know Bennett better through them, yet no one in the family is really emotionally capable of talking to her.

As we watch Bennett’s family and Rose grieve, we get the occasional flashback of Bennett through Rose’s memory. It is through these flashbacks that we come to understand just how unique their relationship was. While the flashbacks are happy, they’re bittersweet because we know how things are going to turn out for Bennett and Rose’s budding romance.

The Greatest has moments of levity that keep the movie from becoming entirely too depressing but for the most part, this is a film about love and grief. Sarandon in particular delivers such a raw performance that at times, it becomes uncomfortable to watch her because it’s clear her character is on the verge of falling apart and though her husband wants to help her, he doesn’t know how. Brosnan delivers a fantastic performance as the helpless husband who’s bottling up his grief for the sake of his family. As Ryan, Simmons carries the role well as the occasionally strung out and slightly bitter younger brother who secretly admired his big brother despite always being outshined by him. Surrounded by exceptional acting, Mulligan holds up well as Rose, the sweet girl who’s dealing with her own grief and looking to get to know the man she believes was the love of her life.

In general, I’m apprehensive to see films that seem to be sad for sadness’ sake, however The Greatness really does successfully capture the heartbreaking grief involved in the loss of a child as a family tries figure out how to move past it. The grief in the film feels real and if you can handle the almost painful realism, this could be a cathartic experience for anyone who has had the unfortunate experience of losing a loved one. What’s more, there’s a love story here that is both happy and sad, as we see how Bennett and Rose got together and how their relationship played out up until the final moments of his life. I let the theater wanting a good cry and not just because the movie was sad but because there’s an emotional depth here which rings true.


The actress is sublime in this film. British newcomer Carey Mulligan deserves a special mention as Rose, the 18-year old who fell in love with a boy only to have never gotten to know him before his tragic death. This is a ferociously talented actress to watch for.

Mulligan dismisses Sundance buzz
Monday, January 19, 2009, 14:22

Carey Mulligan has dismissed the buzz around her at the Sundance Film Festival as "a bit blah".

"No [I don't feel pressure]," the British actress said, when asked how she felt about being touted as "the next big thing" at the festival, where she is promoting two films.

"It's all sort of blah. It's just good to be here with two films that I really love and that I had a good time working on."

The 23-year-old was speaking at the Sundance premiere of her new film The Greatest, in which she stars alongside Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan.

She also appears in An Education, adapted from the Nick Hornby novel and starring Alfred Molina.
Click here!

"Sundance is a circus but it's really cool," she said. "I love it. We were so excited when we got in."


* -
* -,2933,480474,00.html
* -
* -
* -

An Education - News Round Up

The 2009 Sundance Film Festival Preview

An Education teams one of Denmark's finest directors, Lone Scherfig, with British novelist Nick Hornby, and the results should certainly be interesting. It's a coming-of-age tale of a 16-year-old named Jenny (played by Carey Mulligan) set in 1961 London, who becomes involved with a much older man played by Peter Sarsgaard. It has what possibly what could be deemed as one of the most impressive who's who of British actors including everyone from Alfred Molina and Emma Thompson to Dominic Cooper and Rosamund Pike.

The 5 Films Likeliest To Cause A Sundance '09 Bidding War

Those tall, icy piles of matter smothering Park City every January aren't always snow — they could just as easily be discarded Sundance dreams. But as usual, a few lucky ones will avoid the freeze.

Amid the contraction and pocketbook panic gripping the independents and mini-majors this winter, predicting a Sundance bear market seems a safe, obvious choice for 2009. But it also seems relative — especially following a year when sales of festival films reportedly plunged 66 percent from their collective 2007 high of $45 million, and eight-figure buys like Hamlet 2 (and its subsequent seven-figure gross) signaled a reality check that had little or nothing to do with an imploding economy. Distributors need content; they just don't need to walk away with one film to show for $11 million.

So what will they be spending on — and for how much — over the next 10 days? We scoured this year's selections for a few intrepid predictions:

· An Education. Nick Hornby adapted his novel about Jenny (Carey Mulligan), a 16-year-old London girl whose coming of age is kick-started after meeting an older man (Peter Sarsgaard) in 1961. She's on her way to Oxford, he's on his way to a nightclub, holy Christ what will she choose? Word is that An Education is a starmaker for Mulligan, aided by another anticipated film at the fest (see below) and a supporting cast — Sarsgaard, Emma Thompson, Alfred Molina, Sally Hawkins — that will attract the likes of Sony Pictures Classics, Miramax and Focus Features for at least $4 million.

· The Greatest. Setting itself up as an In the Bedroom without the undercooked revenge subplot, The Greatest thrusts Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon into grief over the loss of their teenage son in a car accident. Mulligan appears as the dead kid's girlfriend, lessons are learned, Oscar clips ensue — again, if it's any good: Sundance's bead on middle-class white mourning is growing tired, and Brosnan's executive producer credit whispers "vanity project." But to the extent they even show up with any money at all, the Weinsteins and Paramount Vantage are suckers for this kind of stuff. It may not leave Park City with a deal, but we'll probably hear numbers between $4 million and $5 million throughout the week.

Sundance Unveils A New Star, So Does Ecuador

Remember the name Carey Mulligan. The twenty three old British actress is about to become an It girl. Everything is in place for it too. Yesterday at Sundance the fire marshall had to turn away ticket holders at the Egyptian Theatre because word was Mulligan’s star role in “An Education” was so hot. I hate to say it—because who knows what will happen—but Mulligan turns in an Oscar and award winning performance much on the par of Ellen Page in “Juno” in the Lone Scherfig (a gorgeous Danish director) film.

“An Education” is just about perfect, too: written by Nick Hornby based on the memoir of a British journalist, the early 60s suburban London story has all the makings of a substantial hit for any distributor. The cast includes Peter Saarsgard, Dominic Cooper, Emma Thompson, and a terrific Alfred Molina in this coming of age story. But it’s 23-year-old Mulligan playing a wise 16-year-old who just pops off the screen. The amazing thing, she’s just as memorable in “The Greatest,” a film seen on Saturday that was so good it prompted a standing ovation.

So 2009 should be the year of Carey Mulligan. Isn’t it interesting too that she’s already got powerhouse CAA talent agency on her side, with Kevin Huvane and Chris Andrews—who know talent—steering her along. Shades of Gwyneth and Cate!

"An Education," an early-'60s London coming-of-age fable from writer Nick Hornby and director Lone Scherfig. (This is a surprise of a different sort, in that Sundance has only started to become a major showcase for non-American films.) In a performance of Audrey Hepburn-esque starmaking intensity, young English actress Carey Mulligan plays 16-year-old Jenny, a precocious student, talented cellist and aspiring woman of the world who's trapped in the middle-class suburban dreariness of Twickenham, circa 1961.

As writer Hornby (the author of "High Fidelity" and "About a Boy") explained after the vastly oversold downtown screening I attended, England in the early '60s wasn't yet, you know, '60s England. When Jenny meets a charming and handsome older guy who we can instantly tell is bad news, he knows about jazz and Ravel and art auctions and supper clubs and weekends in Paris; Carnaby Street and Twiggy and Brian Jones are still in the future. David, the smooth operator, is played by Peter Sarsgaard, who does such a good Ewan McGregor I convinced myself he was McGregor for a while.

David is in the vicinity of 30 and drives a sports car and has nice clothes and knows "colored people." He tells outrageous lies and charms Jenny's parents and gradually steers her off her track of Oxford-bound academic excellence and onto one of his own devising. On one hand, clearly a bad idea. On the other, as Jenny demands of her school headmistress (a forbidding cameo for Emma Thompson), what the hell can Oxford do for young women in profoundly unliberated early-'60s England? A long, dull grind of study followed by a long, dull grind behind a desk at spinsterish jobs like hers? At least hanging out with David is fun.

You could say that there's nothing surprising in the oft-told tale of the seducer and the schoolgirl -- hanging out with David is indeed fun, until the dynamic between them begins to shift subtly -- but this one's told superbly, with heart, humor, a marvelous supporting cast and a dazzling recreation of a long-lost, pre-Mod London. It's a movie with many wonderful small moments, courtesy of Alfred Molina as Jenny's dad or Dominic Cooper as David's more cautious best friend or the beautiful Olivia Williams as Jenny's favorite teacher. Fundamentally it belongs to the irresistible Mulligan as Jenny, a mouthy, awkward, almost-sexy combination of innocence and wisdom. You almost never see movies about teenagers that treat them with this much respect; sure, Jenny is governed by her hormones and her half-realized dreams of the future, but she's also much smarter than the grownups around her. As her relationship with David grows murkier, it becomes less and less clear which one is the adult and which the child.

Sundance: An education and 'An Education'

So much for preamble. On to An Education. This slight, charming, lulling coming-of-age story tells of teenaged Jenny (Carey Mulligan, poised for breakout after this showpiece and her central part as dead-boy's-girlfriend in The Greatest), and David (Peter Sarsgaard), the mysterious thirtysomething man who introduces her to a world of sophistication beyond her stodgy London suburb in dull, pre-Beatles Britain. Danish director Lone Scherfig (Italian For Beginners) has an appropriately gentle, feminine touch. (Is it okay for me to say feminine? This year's festival is a casual marvel when it comes to the number of female filmmakers in the mix, and I trust that from now on, no mention of sexual equality will be necessary since the situation will just be ... normal.) The friendly and soothing script is adapted by the redoubtable Nick Hornby of glorious High Fidelity and About A Boy fame from an autobiographical magazine piece by British journalist Lynn Barber.

And certainly the cast is plummy and hip: Sarsgaard plays a fine balance of suave and slippery as the gentleman caller; Mulligan, 22 at the time of filming, emerges from schoolgirl togs to look Audrey Hepburn-yummy; Dominic Cooper and an effortlessly funny Rosamund Pike nearly steal the pic as David's ever-so-raffish friends; and Alfred Molina and Cara Seymour fuss and fumble as Jenny's tea-cup-rattling parents, a pair that might have been played by Graham Chapman and Terry Jones in an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus.


And yet, bad or good, the films were easier to enjoy than last year's grim parade. BBC Films' An Education, for instance, lived up to its Sundance hype. This delicately told age-gap drama from Denmark's Lone Scherfig sees 23-year-old Carey Mulligan stepping deftly either side of the child-adult divide as the A-level schoolgirl who finds herself being charmed by Peter Sarsgaard's older man. The world of riches and travel his character opens up threatens the girl's progress out of Twickenham to Oxford University. A sharp critique of the meaning of learning, An Education couldn't be more timely.


An Education (dir. Lone Scherfig) – Thousands of journalists and industry wags and filmgoers arrived at Sundance without a clue who British actress Carey Mulligan was. One week later, she was the industry’s hottest name and not because of her supporting role opposite Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon in The Greatest. No, expect to be hearing much more about the coming-of-age period film An Education and Mulligan’s starring turn as a schoolgirl in 1961 England whose dreams of A-levels and Oxford are put on hold when she falls for a much older (and somewhat shady) man (Peter Sarsgaard). Scripted with wit and intelligence – would we expect anything else? – by Nick Hornby and directed with polish and sensitivity by Lone Scherfig, An Education avoids nearly every Lolita tendency, instead concentrating an on a sometimes hilarious and sometimes devastating critique of what it meant to be a middle class girl on the eve of the Sexual Revolution. Featuring memorable supporting turns by Alfred Molina, Olivia Williams, Rosamund Pike and Dominic Cooper, An Education was swiftly swooped up by Sony Pictures Classics. This was the finest film I saw at Sundance and I’d expect it to be an Oscar contender.

Sundance 2009: In the Loop puts rest of the fest in the shade

There's been some aggro this week. On Wednesday, a Variety critic called John Anderson punched Jeff Dowd, the producer who inspired the character of the Dude in The Big Lebowski, when the latter pestered him about his unfavourable response to a doc called Dirt! The Movie. Disappointingly there was no return punch, nor was there any blood. I guess you take what you can when the business of buying and selling has been so slow. After the Brooklyn's Finest deal at the weekend there was a light flurry of small sales. The highlights have been Sony Pictures Classics stumping up about $3m (£2.2m) for Lone Scherfig's drama An Education, which stars new British It girl Carey Mulligan as a modern day Holly Golightly. IFC, which buys movies every five minutes to feed its growing VOD pipeline, took the Norwegian Nazi zombie horror flick Dead Snow from the French sales agency Elle Driver (how cool is that name?), while Magnolia Pictures bought the mumblecore 2.0 comedy Humpday, a real crowdpleaser all week.

As the weekend approached buyers continued to swirl around the Anna Wintour doc The September Issue and the drama The Greatest (again starring Carey Mulligan), plus several studios were interested in the Uma Thurman comedy Motherhood (co-star Minnie Driver inflicted a five-song set on the after-party on Wednesday). There's been plenty of acclaim for Lee Daniels's drama Push: Based on the Novel By Sapphire and Oliver Hirschbiegel's Five Minutes of Heaven, which tackles the Troubles. I liked Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as gay lovers in the wild and wildly uncommercial comedy I Love You Phillip Morris, as well as The Cove, an eco-doc about dolphin slaughter in Japan that plays like a thriller and has adaptation potential. I walked out of an interminably drippy romance called Peter and Vandy and tried – believe me – to flee the Polish brothers' 1960s-set comedy Manure (it's too easy, so I won't go there) starring Billy Bob Thornton and Téa Leoni. Alas I was thwarted, flanked as I was on one side by a middle-aged woman who laughed spikily in all the wrong places and was not about to get up for anybody (even if you were having a heart attack) and on the other by an elderly man who fell asleep within the first couple of minutes. He had the better time.

An Education stars British actress Carey Mulligan as an early '60s teenager caught between marrying an older man (Peter Sarsgaard) and chasing a riskier life of creativity and independence. The movie was acquired by Sony Classics — and won the international drama audience award.

Mulligan, 23, was poised for a Sundance starmaking moment with two films. In the other, The Greatest, she's a teenager who tells her deceased boyfriend's family she is carrying his baby. By the time she turns up this summer as Johnny Depp's lover in the 1930s gangster movie Public Enemies, Mulligan may already have broken through.

As the festival began, she was cautiously hopeful about mercurial "festival buzz."

"As a young actress, when you haven't done big films, you come up against the name thing time and time again, where you're not enough of a name and studios don't want you," she said. "If there's anything that comes out of Sundance, it might make it slightly easier for me to get seen."

Others came with distribution locked up, but were seeking — or found — validation of other kinds.


An almost painfully perfect recreation of early-'60s London -- before it really became '60s London, that is -- and a starmaking performance from Carey Mulligan as mouthy, precocious, cello-playing and French-speaking 16-year-old Jenny, so eager to escape her suburban family that she falls for suave, older, Mr. Obvious Bad News (Peter Sarsgaard). Scripted by English novelist Nick Hornby ("High Fidelity") and directed by Danish helmer Lone Scherfig ("Italian for Beginners"), this is marvelously well-constructed period entertainment with a feminist bite. One can argue it's less substantial than the next three films on my list, each completely different from "An Education" and from each other. But the way to settle a four-way tie is with your heart, and I loved this film as I loved no other at Sundance this year. Sony Pictures Classics apparently felt the same way, which is why "An Education" should reach theaters later this year.



* -
* -,2933,480692,00.html
* -
* -
* -
* -
* -
* -

Carey Mulligan - Straight to the top of the class

At just 23, UK star Carey Mulligan is working with Johnny Depp and Michael Mann and was the toast of the Berlin Film Festival. Gaynor Flynn meets her

In the space of a few weeks, Carey Mulligan has gone from being a virtual unknown to the next big thing in the film industry. Some are even predicting an Oscar nomination next year for the 23-year-old British actress after her star turn in Lone Scherfig's An Education, a coming-of-age tale in which she plays a London schoolgirl in the Sixties who falls for a much older man (Peter Sarsgaard). Based on the journalist Lynn Barber's memoirs, and written by Nick Hornby, the film wowed audiences, first at the Sundance Film Festival last month and now in Berlin, and has turned Mulligan into the newcomer of the moment.

"They didn't want me for the role, initially," laughs the actress. "I auditioned ages ago with Beeban Kidron. Then Beeban pulled out and it collapsed. That was two years ago. Then Lone came on, but they didn't want to bring me in. She had a list of people, and the ones that they thought she should bring in had ticks next to their names. I didn't have a tick, but she saw my tape and said, 'She should come in.' If she hadn't had the time to watch all the tapes, I wouldn't be talking to you today."

Mulligan probably wouldn't be in Berlin this week either, where she was named one of the 10 Shooting Stars of 2009 (former winners include Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz). "This week has been freaky," she says, laughing.

It began on Sunday night when she had to present her very first award – at the Baftas. The previous Wednesday, An Education had had its European premiere in Berlin. She admits that she was concerned "that the Europeans might hate it", but she needn't have worried. The film generated more rave reviews for the young actress, and sparked even more comparisons with Audrey Hepburn (Mulligan has short, cropped hair, and a similar elfin beauty).

Mulligan has four films due for release in 2009, with some of the biggest names in the business. Besides An Education (which also stars Emma Thompson and Alfred Molina), there's The Greatest (with Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon), Michael Mann's Public Enemies (with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale) and Jim Sheridan's Brothers (with Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman).

"Presenting a Bafta was more nerve-wracking than anything else I've done," she laughs. "I was terrified. I've never worn a full-length gown, and I never wear strappy shoes. I couldn't walk in them."

Mulligan first came to the attention of audiences in 2005, when she made her feature-film debut as Kitty Bennet in Joe Wright's Pride & Prejudice. She then put in a confident turn in Anand Tucker's And When Did You Last See Your Father?, did some television (Doctor Who) and recently impressed audiences on stage in New York with her performance in The Seagull.

" It was one of the most important experiences of my life," she says. "I love making films, but doing theatre is like falling in love with life every night. It took me a while to believe they'd cast me, so I was determined to be the best Nina ever." She had surgery for appendicitis in the middle of the run, but was back on stage within a week.

The Belgian director Marion Hansel, who was on this year's Shooting Stars jury in Berlin, isn't surprised by Mulligan's success. "Carey started very young, so she's already a real professional. You can see that in the different material she's done. She has had a lot of experience in very different parts. She has a wide range of possibilities, which is very exciting."

"It doesn't feel like things are changing that much," says the actress about the hype surrounding her. "It's probably made it easier for me to get a job, but nobody's seen An Education apart from people at Sundance and Berlin. It's all very well this buzz, but it's not based on an awful lot. It's not like the world's going, 'This is a great film.' My parts in Brothers and Public Enemies are both small: I'm not running around with Johnny Depp for the whole movie,even though I wish that was the case! An Education was the one I was most excited about seeing. I was sobbing. You never ever imagine that you're going to get to play a lead."

Mulligan was born in England. Her father is a hotel manager, and when she was two and a half, the family moved to Germany for several years because of his work. That's where she first discovered her passion for acting.

"My brother and I were at the International School of Düsseldorf, and they did these amazing, lavish productions. Because they had boys and girls up to the age of 18, they could have people playing men and women. They did The King and I, and my brother was cast as one of the little kids. My mother and I went to watch the rehearsals, and I burst into tears because I wasn't in it, so the director let me in."

As for what's next, she's not allowed to say, she jokes. "It's annoying, but they want to make an announcement. When I knew I was coming to Berlin, I said, 'They're going to ask me what I'm doing next.' And they said, 'Yep, but you can't say.' And I was like, 'It'll make it sound like I don't have a job!' But I do have a job; I'm not going to be sitting around on my arse eating crisps waiting for the phone to ring."

Right now, however, Mulligan has far more important things on her mind.

"I don't like having my photo taken," she admits. "But I got much better at doing stills on set with An Education, because Lone said, 'Look, the stills promote the movie before it comes out. If they're dull, nobody will want to see it.'

But she's less happy when the focus is just on her. "It's hard," she says. "We did this Vanity Fair shoot for Shooting Stars, and we were all naked under a rug. I've never done anything like that. I always find looking down a lens difficult. All the brilliant people know their best angle, not because they're vain, but because they know how to present the most powerful shot. They say that about Ben Kingsley. He knows exactly where to be for the camera for a line to deliver an emotion. You probably get that after 30 years. Right now, I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't even know if I have a best angle!"

'An Education' is out in the autumn


* -

The Electric Slide - News Round Up

Ewan McGregor Becomes Antiques Dealer, Does ‘The Electric Slide’
Published by Brian Jacks on Friday, February 6, 2009 at 10:32 am.

It’s nice to see Ewan McGregor back on the big screen, in the trades, and away from his motorcycle. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s tapping into that daredevil side for his next film, “The Electric Slide” which will see him robbing the rich to … well, feed himself. British actress Carey Mulligan is in talks to join McGregor.

Directed and scripted by newcomer Tristan Patterson, “Slide” is based on the true story of Eddie Dodson, a former antiques dealer who ran with with the rich and famous of Hollywood. In order to feed his heroin habit and impress his new girlfriend, he decided to rob a bank — the first of 72 he would rob in his lifetime. Dubbed “The Yankee Bandit” for the Yankees hat he always wore, he always slipped away just as the authorities arrived. He was eventually caught, and died in prison in 2003.

The film will be based on a Gear magazine article penned by journalist Timothy Ford, Dodson’s friend and biographer. While McGregor and Mulligan are not yet signed, the film is being pre-sold at the Berlin Film Festival.

Ewan McGregor and Carey Mulligan Do The Electric Slide

Ewan McGregor and Carey Mulligan are not doing a dance, but they're signing up for a new film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, McGregor and Mulligan are in negotiations to star in The Electric Slide.

The film is based off the true story of a Los Angeles furniture salesman named Eddie Dodson who became a bank robber. Dodson owned a pricey furniture boutique on Melrose Ave. and lived a glitzy lifestyle in the 80s. When he fell in love with his new girlfriend, he took a huge risk trying to impress her and robbed a bank. Dodson robbed 72 banks in the L.A. area before the FBI apprehended him. McGregor is in talks to portray Dodson while Mulligan is in talks to portray his new love.

Tristan Patterson wrote the script, based off Timothy Ford's article in Gear magazine entitled "The Yankee Bandit: The Life and Times of Eddie Dodson, World's Great Bank Robber." Patterson will also make his directorial debut on the film.


* -
* -

Carey Mulligan - Fresh Talent on RT

RT profiles the young actress ready to make an impact.
by Joe Utichi | February 10, 2009

Coming out of Sundance this year, one name rang out as a talent to watch. Carey Mulligan made her big-screen debut in Joe Wright's 2005 Pride & Prejudice adaption, but as she premiered An Education and The Greatest in Park City, Utah, tongues started wagging about her obvious talent. Now RT profiles a name you're likely to hear a lot in 2009.

It was a letter to Julian Fellowes asking for advice that led to Carey Mulligan's big-screen acting debut as the youngest Bennet in Joe Wright's Pride & Prejudice in 2005. She's barely stopped since then and the 23 year-old actress has no fewer than four projects on her slate for release this year. Two of them premiered at Sundance in January to stellar reviews, with Park City audiences celebrating Mulligan as one of the festival's finest performers. She presented an award at the BAFTAs, announced intentions to star in The Electric Slide alongside Ewan McGregor and travelled to the Berlin Film Festival to represent Britain in the Shooting Stars programme -- all this month.

A ferocious appetite for acting seems to inspire Mulligan to work so hard, and it's clearly paying off. This year her co-stars include Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Susan Sarandon and Pierce Brosnan. And all indications are that she holds her own alongside such seasoned thesps, delivering performances that belie her short CV.

It's April 2008, and RT has come to the West London set of An Education to meet Mulligan. Her passion for her craft is immediately obvious - when we arrive she has her head buried in a script, emerging occasionally to seek advice from her director and co-stars and laugh and joke with the whole crew. She has the good sense to enjoy what she's doing, and that seems to give her the necessary confidence to deliver as a performer. Most would be intimidated by the starry names around them -- Mulligan seems to be thrilled by the opportunity to learn from them. "I had a dream day working with Emma Thompson last week," she gushes when we finally sit down with her. "I have literally dreamed about getting to do stuff like that."

It's not without irony that she's decked out in period school uniform on the day we visit -- the eager student surrounded by masters - though the costume is having a rather odd effect on the crew. "They've started talking to me differently," she laughs. "I feel 16 again! The first day of filming in the school I kept falling asleep on set because I was in a classroom. It was some kind of psychological thing, as soon as I was put in a classroom I started nodding off. I was on all sorts of caffeine pills trying to stay awake!"

As her 2009 releases start unspooling for audiences, what's clear is that while she may be keen to keep improving her skill, there's plenty of natural talent already present. Salon claimed her performance in An Education was full of "Audrey Hepburn-esque starmaking intensity," while Collider calls her "outstanding ... she allows us to watch her become a woman onscreen, the resulting portrayal intimate and lovingly crafted." Todd McCarthy writes in Variety that her performance in The Greatest is "a revelation ... [she brings] a bracing resilience to a teenager for whom one night changed the rest of her life."

It's clear that she's won over the critics, but with Michael Mann's Public Enemies due out in July, Jim Sheridan's Brothers in October and The Greatest and An Education expected before the end of the year, Mulligan is ready to make her mark with audiences. That she balances enormous talent as an actor with a classical, natural beauty and beguiling charisma should ensure that impact is wide indeed.

* -

Doctor Who - News Round Up

10 Doctor Who companions that might have been

Sally Sparrow Blink
Carey Mulligan's performance as Sally Sparrow in Blink is mesmerising. As the main protagonist, she really makes the episode work and somehow the feeling she may return isn't completely out of the realms of possibility. A creation from the pen of soon-to-be show runner Steven Moffat, there is a great deal of anticipation that the Doctor and Sally Sparrow may eventually team up. Moffat is on record saying Carey Mulligan is "one to watch" though his recent pronouncement that his Doctor Who will see fewer returning characters suggests her future may not lie with the Doctor...

* -

The Seagull on Broadway – News Round Up

Carey Mulligan (Nina) For the Royal Court: The Seagull and Forty Winks. Other theatre includes: The Hypochondriac (Almeida) and Tower Block Dreams (Riverside Studios). Television includes "Dr. Who," "Northanger Abbey," "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard," "Waking the Dead," "Miss Marple," "Bleak House," and "Trial & Retribution X". Film includes When Did You Last See Your Father?, Pride and Prejudice and the upcoming An Education, Brothers and Public Enemies.

Broadway's The Seagull Changes Opening Night to October 2
The forthcoming production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, which begins previews on September 16, has rescheduled its opening night a day later than the previously announced date of October 1. The production, starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Peter Sarsgaard, will now open at the Walter Kerr Theatre on October 2. The change was made to take advantage of a newly open date vacated by To Be or Not To Be, which has delayed its own opening to October 14.

Broadway played it safe during 2008
Even a cockeyed optimist would have trouble arguing that Broadway became more daring in 2008. USA Today's Elysa Gardner surveys a few peaks and valleys

Ingenue of the year— Carey Mulligan of "The Seagull." With her unmannered, heartbreaking portrait of Chekhov's Nina, the rising British actress stole this revival from her more established co-stars.

* -
* -
* -