'It’s the contrast between face and voice that does it. The face is round, pure, with two dimples holding her smile in placeit is the face of childhood yearning, Juliette Gréco EPS and moon-gazing through suburban windows. But the voice is something else: about half an octave lower than you expect, luxuriantly so, with unexpected notes of sanguinity and self-amusementit is unambiguously the voice of a woman, if not fully grown, then bearing a secret apprehension of the oncoming battle between dreams and their disappointment. Yes, the world will let me down, it seems to say, but must we talk about this now? Such was the paradox powering Carey Mulligan’s performance in “An Education” in 2009: that a young actress whose gamine charms sent critics into gauzy reveries of Audrey Hepburn nonetheless packed the pipes of Rita Hayworth, orbetter yetJenny Agutter. Since that first spring of Hollywood’s infatuation with her, Mulligan has carefully plucked the petals from any career playing English roses, avoiding costume dramas like the plague, instead playing a broken torch-singer in Steve McQueen’s “Shame”, and making pit-stops in Nicolas Winding Refn’s ultra-violent “Drive” and “Inside Llewyn Davis”, where she rained down cold fury on the Coens’ luckless hero. If a great leading film role has eluded hershe seemed more like Daisy Buchanan’s better-read elder sister in Baz Luhrmann’s gaudy, tricked-out Gatsbyonstage Mulligan has broken into long, galloping runs. She was a terrific Nina in a 2007 production of “The Seagull”, and as Karin in Bergman’s “Through a Glass Darkly” in 2011, caught perfectly the pain of someone suicidal denied suicide...'
Jun 2, 2014
AN APPRECIATION: CAREY MULLIGAN
For Intelligent Life:—