“I used to not be enough of a name to be cast,” says British actress Carey Mulligan, who, in fact, really hasn’t had a problem getting cast and is, after all, only 24. But it’s true that once An Education opens (Oct. 9), you’ll be seeing a lot more of her. The film is a sixties-era coming-of-age story about a precocious wannabe sophisticate deflowered by an older man (Peter Sarsgaard)—so it’s that kind of education. Whip-smart yet naïve, charming without being cutesy, Mulligan captures a teenager’s overheated emotions with endearing naturalism. The actress credits screenwriter Nick Hor nby. “He never underestimated how intelligent [Jenny] is. But she’s making mistakes, and mistakes, and mistakes—she’s just having a massive life fuck-up,” explains the actress, who (during a blonde phase) appeared with Sarsgaard on Broadway in 2008’s The Seagull. You’ll see Mulligan again this fall, with Jake Gyllenhaal in Brothers, and she just wrapped Never Let Me Go, with pal Keira Knightley (they co-starred in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice). “All these opportunities!” she enthuses, “and they’re all based on a film that hasn’t even come out yet!”
Directed by Lone Scherfig.
Sony Pictures Classics. Oct. 9.