Thursday, August 13, 2009

Carey Mulligan in An Education...

just... WOW

The Best Actress race is more than on. We're still five plus months away from nominations but, for the moment, it looks like a Carey vs. Meryl showdown on March 7th, 2010. I'll update the charts soon.

P.S. The rest of the cast is also quite good -- I especially loved how spiky and vivid Rosamund Pike and Emma Thompson were in small roles.


Sean said...

Meryl has the rave reviews, the film has decent reviews and box office. Mulligan is an unknown in a small film that has yet to be reviewed by the major critics. She has to give one hell of a performance to top Streep.


it's one hell of a performance.

Agustin said...

I don't think Meryl will get a nomination. I haven't seen her, but the movie seems too light. Oscar loves Meryl, but I'm sure they'll think, we want serious meryl!
Devil wears prada is different, because it was a box office hit, unlike Julie.
I'm so glad Carey Mulligan is JUST WOW. I've seen the trailer dozens of times, she has like a certain glow, i dont know, her smile maybe?

Agustin said...

I forgot to ask, does Peter have a chance at a nomination?

K.P. Durkin said...

"Julie and Julia" isn't a box-office hit? That's news to me, I assumed it was. Granted I pay little to no attention to box office numbers honestly. I found Streep to be even better in "Julie and Julia" than in "Prada", just saying.

Rocío said...

I see a medalist here Nathaniel? this is one of my most anticipated performaces! I hope you elaborate more on it.

Andrew K. said...

Damn you Nathaniel. Extremely jealous. Really glad Carey was good though. But do you really feel that Streep's work in Julia is really a major contender right now? ...And in the Best Actress Category?

Anyway, back to An Education, what was Alfred Molina like, what was the audience response? Any possible technical awards? Was it very dramatic? Or more comedy/drama?

Aaah! Just give us more.

Dominique said...

God I'm dying to see this movie. I can't believe this is the same girl who played the ridiculous Kitty in P&P. She is already a revelation in the trailer...

Cannot wait to read your thoughts :)

juan said...

it is probably between Mulligan and Streep but my gut is telling me that Gabourey Sidibe is going to end up winning for "Precious". i know it's crazy but crazier things have happened at the Oscars

adam k. said...

Gabourey Sidibe WINNING??? Um, no.

If it's a truly close race between Mulligan (or anyone, for that matter) and Streep, my money's on Streep all the way. She's been denied too many times, and everyone knows it. I don't see them awarding a VERY young newbie like Mulligan before they honor Streep.

That said, I could see Mulligan becoming a steamroller and Julia becoming another Prada type case of "oh sure we'll nominate it, it was fun, but it's not really a serious film".

But Doubt was a serious film and Streep couldn't win for that either, so something will have to give. People seem to really love her Julia Child, and she's probably in line for another comedy globe, so she'll be in the mix, no doubt.

adam k. said...

And I think that this year, with most of the roster being filled by super young starlets and/or first-time nominees (Mulligan, Cornish, Ronan, Sidibe... give or take Swank), Meryl will stand out. She looks like the only potential nominee who will be "owed" in any way. She's also more than likely the only comedy nominee.

No one's even talking about Pfeiffer anymore : (

Juno101 said...

to me, meryl doesn't have a chance. This film will probably be forgotten. Besides all the other actresses will probably be in great movies that will be running in the best picture race while" julie & julia" stay behind. Just because its meryl Streep doesn't mean she's in and just because Carey mulligan is a "newbie" doesn't mean she will be shrugged off. I think she has a great chance, definatly better than meryl's chances. People shouldn't be thinking its between only meryl and Carey so soon, we still have a way to go.

Glenn Dunks said...

This year has already provided five beautiful gifts of leading actress performances that would make a stellar lineup and I haven't seen seen Streep or Mulligan or Cornish or Sibide of Pfeiffer or... or...)

For the record, the five actresses that are amazing so far this year have been Marisa Gibson (Samson & Delilah), Gracie Otto (Three Blind Mice), Katie Jarvis (Fish Tank), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist) and Kelly O'Neill (Kisses).

Anonymous said...

For me it is going to be Cornish vs. Mulligan

Sidibe vs. Ronan

For nominations.

Nate said...

I'm not surprised she's good in some other works. When did you Last See Your Father and My Boy Jack. She also got raves for the Theatre production of The Seagull.
Everybody loved her as Dr. Who's assistant.

I see big things for her she's really good friends with Knightley and they are starring in Never Let Me Go, Carey has the lead. Now it's just been announced that She's in Wall Street 2. Go Carey.

I' not going to get too hyped about this film it seems like everytime I get too hyped for something it always disappoints.

The New Young Crop of British Actresses are just wow.

Nate said...

I still see Meryl winning.

I don't think Sidibe will get in, I mean most of the raves are for Monique, although she did get some nice reviews.

It goes like this,

Cotillard or Cornish.

I do think it is between Cornish, Mulligan and Ronan. I seriously do not think all three of them will get in. One will be left out and if Mulligan is just WOW, then it is between Cornish and Ronan and to be honest neither impressed me much in their trailers.

Anonymous said...

Carey is also on the cover 5 T magazines (based in NY). It's the same magazine, but five different Carey covers.

Doesn't that count as points towards the Actress Derby?


RJ said...

I'm not buying Streep as a threat to win. This seems like a, 'it's Meryl' nomination to me.

Anyway, I am JEALOUS! I am so excited for this movie. I've liked Carey Mulligan since I saw her in Bleak House, and Rosamund Pike deserves many MANY more roles.

Notluke said...

Go Sally Sparrow! :)

amir_uk said...

Ahhh Nathaniel! Is this like a Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday/Julie Christie in Darling revelation?! How amazing would it be witness something like that. I have to see this film. Right now. Was it a press preview? Elaborate!...

Also Rosamund Pike; Peter Sarsgaard - good/substantial/memorable enough to be in with a shot too?

Guy Lodge said...

So glad to hear this from you.

Nat, did you ever see Mulligan on Broadway in "The Seagull"? She wasn't on my radar at all when I saw her in the London production and she knocked me sideways ... I knew she was headed for great things. I just didn't know that said "great things" would arrive so soon.

Joel said...

Would love Mulligan to win. She was absolutely incredible in the film and was incredibly gracious and humble in the Q & A I was lucky to be there for after I saw the film.
One of my favourite films of the year too.

Anonymous said...

Good for Carey Mulligan, but it just depresses me that we have such a lack of young American talents right now. Where's the next generation?

Anonymous said...

There's Michelle Williams and um..yeah that's about it. It seems like American's are more concerned with looks than acting skills. So the actresses with skills so not get the opportunity to shine.


JoFo said...

YES. Finally someone else has seen it. Do you agree with me that whislt Pike and Thompson are great, they'd be unlikely to get noms?

And do you think Molina is in? I think he has the perfect balance of comedy and drama to make him likely nominee.

Davey said...

If Carey Mulligan knocks it out of the park in a serious drama vs. Meryl in a light comedy, I think voters would go with the ingenue in the drama. It's not like they haven't done that before (in general and to Meryl). Maybe the one-two box office punch of "Julie & Julia" and "It's Complicated" can propel Meryl to Oscar victory on a "she's SO overdue!" ticket, but I don't see Meryl winning any critics' prizes if Mulligan is worth her stuff. And Gabourey Sidibe could easily be the critics' champ this year too (I'm already anticipating that for Mo'Nique in a supporting actress steamroll). Nothing against Meryl, but if Carey Mulligan deserves the props more this year than Meryl or the rest of her competition, then she should be the one that receives it, regardless of her young age. I can't wait to see "An Education" here.

Jack said...

Can I just ask how you've seen it already? Is it out in America now?

The UK has to wait for so long for so many films, I hate it when America gets one of our own first as well.

Joe said...

It'll probrably turn out to be a tight race, but then again, we'll have to wait and see how An Education is formally accepted broadly. Even if she get's raves, that will make two of them because, though Streep's film is "light", she's gotten amazing reviews for playing Julia Child. Perhaps her best reviewed performance of this decade. And it being a comedic performance wouldn't be a big detractor against her either. Streep could also benefit from the "make-up" factor. It should stil be fresh in a lot of voters' minds of how close she probrably came to winning just last year, so maybe they'll give it to her this year, especially since she's going on a little hiatus. Then again, who knows?

adam k. said...

Come on guys, how many more "It's Meryl!" nominations can she get without being considered for the win? It's getting ridiculous.

It's all about momentum. She almost won last year for a very oscary perf (SAG + BFCA wins). She should've won 3 years ago for another populist comedy which has since become iconic (but the momentum wasn't there). And she also nearly won in '02 for another comedy/one-two-punch situation.

I'm sure voters remember all this. And this year, Meryl turns 60 whilst releasing two female-powered (most likely) box office hits, one of them a biopic of a beloved famous person. She can't not be considered a threat to win. Unless someone else takes over the race and never lets go (a la Mirren in '06), I think Meryl is the most likely to take it.

Sofia Coppola's Nose said...

The Nominees Will Be...

Jeff Bridges, CRAZY HEART
Daniel Day-Lewis, NINE
***Morgan Freeman, INVICTUS***
Viggo Mortensen, THE ROAD
Christopher Plummer, THE LAST STATION

***Carey Mulligan, AN EDUCATION***
Gabourey Sidibe, PRECIOUS
Hilary Swank, AMELIA

Matt Damon, INVICTUS
Alfred Molina, AN EDUCATION
***Stanley Tucci, THE LOVELY BONES***
Kodi Smit-McPhee, THE ROAD

***Mo'Nique, PRECIOUS***
Judi Dench, NINE
Susan Sarandon, THE LOVELY BONES
Sigourney Weaver, AVATAR

Davey said...

If the "It's Meryl!" nominations don't translate into wins, then that's just how it goes. I know I wouldn't have picked her for "Doubt" or "The Devil Wears Prada" recently (found much more compelling choices instead to pick from), and being in light comedies will be held against her in some circles. If we were talking about "August: Osage County", that would be an entirely different beast. But we're not. We're talking about Nora Ephron and Nancy Meyers' comedies. It's not next March yet, but if a stellar dramatic performance comes along (like Carey Mulligan or Gabourey Sidibe's might end up being) to honor instead of Meryl's comedies, I could easily see voters going for the drama. And that's no slight to Meryl at all. It's just how they operate. Their young ages shouldn't be held against them. Ageism works both ways, and it's bad in either case.

Unknown said...

Man, I hope the Academy doesn't give Meryl a third Oscar this year. She's delightful, sure, but settle with the nomination. She already has two, so her third should be for something in Adaptation or Prada territory.

Give it to Sidibe, who's actually revelatory THIS year, or Mulligan, who apparently is (I haven't seen it), or someone else who deserves it... this year.

Full disclosure - I'd love Meryl to win again, but I can wait until she gives another powerhouse performance.

Joe said...

Also, between Meryl and Carey, Meryl will most likely have the stronger campaign with Scott Rudin behind her. It'll be especially tricky since Meryl has Sony, the parent company to Mulligan's Sony Classics, so it'll be interesting to see where to studio which the studio will focus the most, and hardest, on.

Joe said...

Why so much prejudice against comedic performances? And if anyone could win for a comedic role nowadays, it'd be Meryl. Her winning for this would be very similiar to Jack Nicholson winning for his "light" performance.

Davey said...

It's not prejudice toward comedies. But I'm not going to rah-rah Meryl for a third win at all costs. I've seen "Julie & Julia", and I refuse to believe that that's the best leading (or supporting) actress performance of this year. Maybe "It's Complicated" will surprise, but from the trailer, it kind of looks like a "Something's Gotta Give" redux, which is great for what it is, but again not necessarily something I'd go rallying for a third win. The buzz on Sidibe and Mulligan have been fierce for months now, and I'd hate to see them slighted b/c of some undying need to give Meryl Streep a THIRD Oscar for something slight. Ageism isn't okay just b/c it's going in the other direction.

Skibi said...

Some say its Meryl vs. Mulligan. I think Saoirse Ronan has an equal good chance. She looks terrific in The Lovely Bones and I predict it to be a bigger hit at the oscars. You can say she's to young, but Carey Mulligan is also young. Mulligan hasnt much before An Education but Ronan has her already great oscar nominated performance in Atonement.

Joe said...

The film is light, yes, but Meryl's performance isn't "light" at all. It's a very big performance. It's not dramatic, but it's big. It's not impossible for a comedic performance to be better than a dramatic one. And Meryl wouldn't just be winning just because. She's got the raves to back up a potential win. Even from some critics who are usually not fond of her (Stephanie Zacharek of Meryl's reviews are perhaps better than most recent best actress winners (except for Mirren and Theron).

God, I sound like such a fangirl.

Davey said...

I never said that it was impossible for a comedic performance to be better than a dramatic one. But it remains to be seen if that's the case this year, and after seeing "Julie & Julia", I definitely think something better can come along and dominate.

DJ said...

Nathaniel, when are you going to reveal more?! Your film rating, more detail of her performance?! Could you at least tell us if you liked Streep or Mulligan more? =)

Anonymous said...

Saw it on Tuesday, a fantastic film for sure. Mulligan is to die for.

Simon Dang said...

Carey Mulligan, please.

But seconded on the Katie Jarvis love. She is damn great in "Fish Tank."

adelutza said...

I think Streep's performance in Julie and Julia was really a powerhouse. Whithout her and Tucci the film would've been a big bore, even with them in it I was inclined to take a nap after an hour or so .I don't care if it's a comedy, for me, that's an Oscar worthy performace. I've seen both Mulligan and Sidibe and while Mulligan is really great and the film itself is great I can't say the same about Precious. The original buzz was for Moni'que, I'm not sure how Sidibe even got into the equation.
So in my opinionin my opinion, for now , it is between Streep and Mulligan. Let's see what else we have comming at us.

Ryan T. said...

Joe and adelutza are correct. Even if Julie & Julia is considered a "light" movie, Meryl Streep's performance is very much a powerhouse. There's nothing light about it.

So even though I'm not ready to declare her the winner, I'm almost assured the Streep will at least get a nomination.

I'm SO very looking forward to An Education though.

Juno101 said...

I completely agree with davey's comment I've checked on metacritic and julie and julia got a 64 which is good but seems forgettable. I've read most of the reviews and they gave really good ones to meryl Streep but I can completely see Carey mulligan overshining her. We have a long way to go before the year is over and I can see a lot of great performances coming blocking out meryl but maybe not. Also its not like the box-office for julie & julia is huge, its more than expected but its probably not gonna go further than 40 million if it even reaches that.

Davey said...

So my opinion isn't the "correct" one b/c I found Meryl's performance in "Julie & Julia" lightweight and not "OMG ABSOLUTELY OSCAR-WORTHY!"? What the hell ever. Bring on Carey Mulligan, Gabourey Sidibe, and all the rest of the contenders this year. It's time to see what else is on tap this year.

JESS said...

Meryl is SO winning this year, you ageismofascists !

Sean said...

Well, certainly Saoirse Ronan is going to be dismissed as a "winner" because no ones seen it and she's young. But i think the potential strength of her film, which is enormous in my mind, and much greater than any other film w/ a female lead, imo, is what makes it "possible".

If she's worthy, that nomination 2 years ago will certainly help basically saying "I'm not fluke!". And its the type of character that audiences are going to ADORE and totally root for, and the complete opposite of Briony. And if the night turns into a Lovely Bones lovefest...who knows...

Joe said...

Opinions aren't meant to be correct or incorrect. What I was simply responding to was the "this isn't the right film for Meryl to win for, it's too light" comments. And what I was simply trying to convey is that the critical support behind her if she were to win, with seemingly universal raves for a powerhouse performance. Hell, I thought Cruz's performance was too slight and not good enough to deserve to win, but I didn't let my opinion get in the way of predicting her for the win.

Joe said...

And she far as people forget about Streep, I highly doubt that. The movie will probrably be out in Dec., in time enough to be sent out to voters. And Meryl will be in the media a lot due to Fanstastic Mr. Fox and It's Complicated coming out at the end of the year. Besides, Julie & Julia is getting better critical reception than last year's best actress winner. That's not to say that it'll be as successful with the Academy

Davey said...

And I still think Meryl's getting nominated. My views of her and her film haven't and wouldn't cloud that prediction. But winning is another matter altogether, and she isn't untouchable. Being a comedy is only part of it. The lacking content of the film is another. Something better could definitely come along, and I'm anticipating that.

adelutza said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rosengje said...

God, she is SO good. I love love love this movie. She plays one of the most refreshingly original characters (although not technically...) I have seen in a long time and imbues the performance with such wit and charm. Despite great performances from Alfred Molina and Peter Sarsgaard, "An Education" is really an actressexual's delight. Mulligan + Williams + Thompson + Pike + Hawkins + Seymour = bliss.

Joe said...

Nobody said Streep was untouchable. All I'm saying is she's probrably gonna be a very strong contender to win, comedy or not.

Ryan T. said...

At least very least, do we have our Golden Globe winners with these two? Hm...

Wayne B said...

adam k - "No one's even talking about Pfeiffer anymore :("

Hey, you never know, a DVD release around Christmas time might renew her buzz. My confidence in her nomination has wavered a little bit but SHE'S MICHELLE PFEIFFER! (ooh, got a little too excited there.) Maybe it's just the fanboy in me but I don't see her NOT getting a nomination.

I liked Meryl in "Julie & Julia," she always puts interesting nuances into her performances. I don't think it'll be her third-statuette winning role though. If this really comes down to Mulligan vs. Streep, then I wonder who will slip in for the win ala Adrien Brody?

cal roth said...

I don't want Meryl Streep to win until she works with somebody like PTA, the Coens, or Lars von Trier. I don't wanna see shitty directors like Nancy Meyers or Nora Ephron leading people to Oscars. Not fair.

Sean said...

Streep is hot right now and on a roll. This is the perfect time for her to win her third OVERDUE Oscar. If you haven't figured it out yet, the Oscars are NOT about performance but about timing.

An Education is a good film and Mulligan is solid, it is not a revelatory performance from an unknown like Swank, Theron or Cottilard.

Streep has the raves reviews and J&J will end up with good box office. Then, come year end, Streep will have another box office hit. This is going to be too much for voters to ignore.

The year is still young, but at this point, Streep is the sure fire front-runner. EW even put her in the last issue and said "it is her Oscar to lose"

in her favor:
-biopic/real person
-rave reviews for performance
-perfectly adequate reviews for film
-box office
-2 wins already, so what, still overdue
-no one else is overdue
-Veteran amongst unknown youngins-Mulligan, Cornish, Sidibe, and lucky Swank


michelle pfeiffer?

i kid. i kid. i've never allowed myself to hope that but i very much hoped to see her nominated again

but the way the year is shaping up it looks crowded.

there's no official word that streep will be going lead but i'm just assuming they won't buy the supporting classification for either of them. but then they have so often before who knows.

and yes if Streep gets nominated i think she is ABSOLUTELY a threat to win.

Momentum means so much with Oscar.

Anonymous said...

Is Nate and Nathaniel R. the same person or two different people? I'm confused....

Anonymous said...

different, obviously.


anon -- Nathaniel R is me (the writer/editor of The Film Experience) sometimes people call me Nat or Nate or Nathan though I'm not sure why. it's Nathaniel.

but obvs other people, like commenter Nate, share my name or some variation thereof.

Fernando Moss said...

If Meryl gives not the best performance of the year she sould not win... If Mulligan is not the best she shouldn't win either... If any of them or somebody else gives the very best performance of the year then she should win...

Altough I know that's not how AMPAS works, most of the time the best performance gets ignored...but still... my point is... No matter how many nominations Meryl gets she should not win if she's not the very best...

and no, I don't hate Meryl... I love her...

and no, I haven't seen Meryl nor Carey...

Anonymous said...


 Michael said...

Charlize Theron was hardly an unknown when the "Monster" buzz began to generate.

brandz said...

i'm tired of the chatter circulating that Meryl Streep cannot possibly win Best Actress Oscar because Julia & Julia is a so-called 'light comedy'. i did a little research and came up with Oscar winners that were comedies. not sure if my list is complete or even needs some deletions, but you'll get the picture, i hope. Meryl Streep can most certainly win and would be a strong contender.

Best Picture comedy winners:

You Can't Take It With You
It Happened One Night
The Apartment
Annie Hall
Shakespeare In Love

Best Actor comedy winners:

Clarke Gable (It Happened One Night)
Richard Dreyfuss (Goodbye Girl)
Jack Nicholson (As Good As It Gets)

Best Actress comedy winners:

Claudette Colbert (It Happened One Night)
Judy Holiday (Born Yesterday)
Glenda Jackson (A Touch Of Class)
Diane Keaton (Annie Hall)
Cher (Moonstruck)
Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets)
Frances McDormand (Fargo)
Gwenyth Paltrow (Shakespeare In Love)

Best Supporting Acor comedy winners:

Charles Coburn (The More The Merrier)
Jack Lemmon (Mr. Roberts)
Walter Mathau (Fortune Cookie)
George Burns (Sunshine Boys)
Melvyn Douglas (Being There)
John Gielgud (Arthur)
Don Ameche (Cocoon)
Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda)
Jack Palance (City Slickers)

Best Supporting Actress comedy winners:

Josephine Hull (Harvey)
Goldie Hawn (Cactus Flower)
Tatum O'Neal (Paper Moon)
Jessica Lange (Tootsie)
Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck)
Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny)
Dianne Weist (Bullets Over Broadway)
Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite)
Judi Dench (Shakespeare In Love)

Fernando Moss said...

Whe don't we all stop complaining about genre biases, overdued statues gicen to non deserving performances, etc, and start our own Academy and vote for what we think is the best and then we can see how similar to the AMPAS we (as a group) think... haha

Davey said...

And again, I didn't say that Meryl couldn't win for a comedy. But if something else better comes along, which I'm almost positive it will, that's the performance that should win out, not a lightweight performance just b/c someone's "overdue."

brandz said...

meryl streep's performance in Julia & Julia was NOT a 'light weight' performance. she nailed an icon and that's not easy to do.

Davey said...

It was lightweight to me. That's my opinion. It's not changing just b/c you'd deemed it not to be so.

Joe said...


gabrieloak said...

I wouldn't call Julie and Julia a light comedy at all. It's more of strange dual biopic.

I almost feel that Streep should be in supporting for Julie and Julia since she is in half the film.

And we haven't seen Streep in the Myers film yet. Myers wrote a big role for Keaton and she may have done it again for Streep.

notanotherblog said...

You guys are making me wanna watch 'Julie and Julia.'

The competition looks even right now, but Meryl will only get the Oscar this year if she turns down 'August: Osage County.'

Janice said...

So - if Meryl does get the nod and/or the win for Julie and Julia, does that mean we'll get another round of "why does Ampas always award biopics?" talk, or will we keep absolutely silent in that regard because it's Meryl?

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