Carey Mulligan Spotlight: April 2008
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Friday, 4 April 2008

When Twickenham starts swinging

Carey Mulligan plays a teeanger in the movie An Education who, she told me, 'lives this dull beige life in Twickenham'. Until, that is, an older man drives into her life.

Carey plays Jenny, a highly intelligent 16-year-old who lives with her parents in their boring semi-detached home in a south-west London suburb.

Everything changes when she meets David (Peter Sarsgaard), a man with fingers in many pies who drives a red Bristol car.

'Jenny's looking for something more than she's got,' Carey said.

On the cusp: Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan

The film is set in 1962, a really specific time just before the decade started the swinging sixties.
'It's really a time of paste sandwiches and Battenburg cake,' 22-year-old Carey noted.

It's a fantastic role for an actress on the cusp of stardom. The screenplay is by Nick Hornby and is based on an intimated memoir that award-winning journalist Lynn Barber wrote a few years ago for Granta about how, essentially, her parents allowed her to romp around with a much older man and his friends.

Hornby has opened out Barber's story, fictionalising certain elements and changing some names to protect the guilty.

Jenny gets taken to art galleries and auctions on a trip abroad and is hurled into a lifestyle that is the antithesis of life at school and with her parents.

Producers Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey have nursed the project for a long time and at one point Variety, the showbusiness trade paper, voted Hornby's script one of the best un-produced screenplays.

I've read it and it's hilarious, yet bittersweet look at our country at a certain time and place. As Carey noted, 'it's very British' yet the specific story has a universality about it.

Director Lone Scherfig told me she has been thrilled working with the likes of Carey, Emma Thompson, Rosamund Pike, Olivia Williams, Alfred Molina and Dominic Price.

From An Education, I believe Carey will graduate as a star.

As David Thompson, who supported the project when he ran BBC films, told me: 'She's luminescent.'

• There's a lot of interest in playing Heathcliff in the big-screen Wuthering Heights that John Maybury is preparing to direct this autumn.

I gather he has met Colin Farrell, Dominic Cooper and Sam Riley, but no decisions have been made. Maybury has the film The Edge Of Love coming out, with Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller giving top performances, but neither will be in Wuthering Heights.

By BAZ BAMIGBOYE - More by this author »
Last updated at 12:25pm on 4th April 2008