Tag Archive: carey mulligan

great gatsby

Dir. Baz Luhrmann
(2013, PG-13, 143 minutes)

The Great Gatsby is a good fit for director Baz Luhrmann, who continues to pursue the theme of doomed love that also marked his previous films Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge, and whose exaggerated, impressionistic style is well suited to capture an era of excess and a feeling of love that ultimately proves as unsustainable as the world it’s set in. He doesn’t show us what life was like in the Roaring Twenties. He shows us what it might have felt like during such a period of unquestioned prosperity. And when the characters experience their crushing heartbreak, it foretells the looming societal downfall of the Great Depression.

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Dir. Steve McQueen
(2011, NC-17, 101 min)

I watched Steve McQueen‘s first film, Hunger, in advance of seeing his already controversial followup, Shame, and I’m glad I did. The director’s distinctive style – including loose story structuring and prolonged shots – benefits from an introduction; when you’ve watched an uninterrupted three-minute take of a man cleaning urine with a push broom, you’re prepared for pretty much anything.

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Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn
(2011, R, 100 min)

Drive does not star Vin Diesel or Paul Walker or gratuitous bikini models dancing in party scenes, as at least one viewer was disappointed to discover. The ads for the film were a bit misleading, suggesting a high-octane chase movie in order to get people into the theater – a similar marketing tactic rankled many viewers of George Clooney‘s The American last year – but having now seen the film, I don’t think the ads were patently dishonest; if this film represents an outrage for not being The Fast and the Furious, I think it says more about the viewer than the film.

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Carey Mulligan, in 'An Education'

Dir. Lone Scherfig
(2009, PG-13, 95 min)
★ ★ ★ ½

I want to be Jenny when I grow up. Set in 1960s England, An Education is built on the character, who is only sixteen, and on the performance of her portrayer, Carey Mulligan, who is twenty-four. As written by Nick Hornby (based on Lynn Barber’s memoir), directed by Lone Scherfig, and acted by Mulligan, Jenny is a singular creation: confident but shy, worldly but naive, cosmopolitan but sheltered, yet she is never a contradiction in terms. She is a blossoming young woman, smart, who recognizes the perils of stepping into an unfamiliar world of adults, considers them, and undertakes them anyway, because she must do something that matters, instead of be churned through school and university and deposited into marriage or one of the limited career options available to women in that day and age.

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