Directed by Lone Scherfig
Released October 9, 2009
An actor can make a movie. Very often it happens that a performance is all that’s talked about when referring to a film, and that’s because, while the acting is unbelievably incredible, the movie sometimes isn’t. Many praise Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland”), and Peter O’Toole (“Venus”) but don’t give much credit to their films. It’s immensely gratifying, therefore, to a find a film that confidently defies that trend. Carey Mulligan’s lead performance is refreshingly brilliant, and her surrounding film is wonderful and fun.
Twenty-four-year-old Mulligan is effortlessly charming and absolutely marvelous as Jenny, a young girl in 1960s London destined for a bright future at Oxford whose plans get a bit delayed when she meets an older man. Mulligan completely inhabits the role, and it’s a performance reminiscent of Sally Hawkins (who appears in a small role in this film) in last year’s “Happy-Go-Lucky.” Both Brits display an incomparable ability to embrace life and delight in simple pleasures. Mulligan seems years more mature than her age, but also imbues Jenny with appropriate naivety. It’s a simply delightful performance, and a sign that Mulligan should have a bright future ahead of her.
The supporting cast is equally splendid. Alfred Molina and Cara Seymour make a great family unit as Jenny’s parents driven to see her succeed. Peter Sarsgaard dons a British accent and oozes charisma as her older suitor, and seeing the four performers on screen together feels very real. They all fit in nicely against a 1960s backdrop, and the film feels perfectly timeless. It’s a pleasant story that stands out due to its lively attitude and generally positive nature. That and, of course, the incredible, career-making performance by one Carey Mulligan.
Friday, October 9, 2009