Shock and awesome. Recent SNL host Carey Mulligan's provocative turn in "Promising Young Woman" is turning lots of heads (especially awards voters) and spinning them round and round. But should we really be surprised by this current Best Actress nominee? Carey Mulligan's greatest movies are numerous and diverse…and she's been at the game for a while now.
For fans new and old, here are the 10 to watch or re-watch, in order of amazingness - Carey Mulligan's greatest movies from the past 20 years.
10. Pride and Prejudice
Carey Mulligan plays a secondary character to Keira Knightley, but she's still memorable in her first big screen role. We're surprised that after this project, she didn't make many other English period pieces, but that's not a bad thing. This is a good introduction to her presence, which fit in just fine alongside players like Rosamund Pike, Judi Dench, Knightley, and Donald Sutherland.
9. Never Let Me Go
Carey Mulligan and her "Pride & Prejudice" co-star Keira Knightley, along with future "Spider-Man" Andrew Garfield, are a capable trio in this dark tale about human clones raised with the purpose of having their organs donated for transplant procedures. Shot more as a period drama, it's a romantic triangle that works due to its leads' empathetic performances.
It's a supporting role, but a key one, where Mulligan plays the long-suffering wife in a loveless marriage in a racist family in the deep south during the days of World War II. While Mulligan's English, she's shined a lot in roles playing American women.
7. Inside Llewyn Davis
Re-teamed with her "Drive" co-star Oscar Isaac (now playing the folk singer in the movie's title), Mulligan is no-nonsense in her approach as Llewyn Davis' ex-girlfriend. Playing Jean Berkey, she cuts the nice talk and tells noncommittal Llewyn what's up. It's a great change of pace for the actress, and an entertaining role.
Mulligan takes on a unique role in director Steve McQueen's tale about a sex-addicted New Yorker named Brandon (Michael Fassbender). She's Brandon's sassy sister and singer Sissy, who has her own troubles, but lights up during an intimate club scene performing "New York, New York." She's captivating as an emotionally fragile, ultimately uplifting character.
5. Far from the Madding Crowd
Mulligan is the fourth to take on the role of Bathsheba Everdeen in a filmed version of "Far from the Madding Crowd." She's fantastic as always, transforming herself into the 19th century woman who constantly shuns the romantic attention of a local farmer (Matthias Schoenaerts). The two have a long and winding road to travel – but the acting make this a trip worth taking.
While Ryan Gosling's unnamed stuntman/heist driver is the center of this slow-burn action-thriller-drama, Carey Mulligan's the focus of his attention. She's the pretty mom with a cute kid and a shady con-man husband (Oscar Isaac). Through a mere glance, though, she makes it known that she's aware of the world and has the soul to stand up to it.
3. An Education
At age 24, Mulligan caught moviegoers attention playing a believable 16-year-old growing into her own as a young woman in an affair with a much older guy (Peter Sarsgaard). Her education in the ways of '60s adulthood left quite an impression and earned her an Oscar nomination.
The actress is the picture of patience then growing rage as Jeanette, a housewife with a teenage son and a husband named Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal) who's anything but a solid, dependable bloke. Well, he is a bloke, and a family deserter. Once he skips out to fight fires in Montana, that's when Jeanette (and the actress' spark) really starts to burn.
1. Promising Young Woman
She's a virtual lock for an Oscar nomination, and we're hoping she wins Best Actress. Mulligan's performance as a determined woman turning the tables on sexual predators is a tour de force. She's mesmerizing and unforgettable in a movie that's unpredictable all the way to its shocking finale.
About the Author
Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.