Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what I’ve seen over the past week either in film or television. On the film side, if I have written a full length review already, I will post a link to that review. Otherwise, I’ll give a brief snippet of my thoughts on the film with a full review to follow at some point later. For television shows, seasons and what not, I’ll post individual comments here about each of them as I see fit.
So, here is what I watched this past week (plus a full-length review of a prior viewing):
Carey Mulligan was robbed. That was a frequent refrain during the 2009 Oscar season wherein the acclaimed ingenue lost the Best Actress prize to a solid performance by Sandra Bullock in a film that wasn’t nearly as good. And when you look at the slate of actresses for 2009, it’s hard not to see how well received Mulligan’s performance was. It received numerous pre-Oscar critics prizes and earned the star a coveted Best Actress nomination.
I’m on the fence about whether she should have won or not. Her performance is indeed wonderful, but when compared with Bullock in The Blind Side and Gabourey Sidibe in Precious, it’s more difficult for me to decide. In An Education Mulligan plays a naive young school girl hoping for acceptance into prestigious Oxford University who falls in love with a charming stranger who gives her and her cello a lift home one rain-soaked afternoon. Lone Scherfig’s Victorian-styled romantic drama combines a Jane Eyre-like story told from a 1960’s English perspective. Mulligan plays the young naif with an artist’s precision. She skips from innocent schoolgirl to ruined womanhood in the span of the film elegantly and effectively.
The rest of the cast is on point including Alfred Molina as her controlling father; Peter Sarsgaard as the kindly gentleman who sweeps her off her feet; Dominic Cooper as his forceful, yet submissively compassionate partner; and especially Olivia Williams as the spinsterly school teacher who impresses the most valuable life lessons on our protagonist. Any of them would have been fine companions to Mulligan’s Oscar attention, which only resulted in additional nominations for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay, both of which it richly deserved.
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