37 thoughts on “SNARK WEEK: Woeful Woman Wednesday – Carey Mulligan

  1. Carey Mulligan needs to wake up, go back to acting school, go to school to improve her intelligence – take a pick or all. I prefer all.
    Her okay portrayal in Bleak House was maybe a C+ but her grasp of history and author’s nuances in character make her a poor choice for period films.
    I hated Baz’s Gatsby. He, IMHO, had no idea of why the book is such a classic. Mulligan’s Daisy comes across as being:
    A) a dumb blonde:
    B) on drugs:
    C) spineless
    D) all of the above & more.
    My choice is D.

    Fitzgerald’s Daisy was an intelligent woman, full of life, spunk, but doomed to her life because of class and upbringing. And that’s just my surface read of her character.

    I’d watch Reign (surprisingly addictive for seasons 1-3), the Tudors (fast forwarding Jonathan R Meyers) before watching her in a film, unless the costumes are TOTALLY AWESOME.

    1. yeah, she got Daisy totally wrong.

      I used to teach HS English and the year it came out, I took my students to see it, and I was proud that they had the same reaction. Daisy isn’t supposed to be a victim. Daisy is a bitch.

    2. Please don’t say “dumb blonde”. My God. Everyone’s a feminist these days – except when they feel entitled to insult a woman based on her hair colour.

      I thought we were past that sort of nasty misogyny…

  2. The first film I saw Carey Mulligan in was Never Let Me Go, a dystopian sci flick. Her bland, vaguely depressed attitude made sense; all the characters are trapped and basically doomed. It wasn’t until I saw her in costume films that I realized “Oh, she wasn’t acting, she’s just like that.” Ugh.

  3. Wowzers these comments are super personal and harsh. I actually loved her in An Education, which is also period. A lot of the films you mention also suffer from poor direction and weak scripts. In a week that’s seen millions of women march in solidarity this column and comments seem oddly off key and vindictive.

    1. Did I call her fat / too skinny / ugly? Did I mock her personal life choices? Did I slut-shame her? No. I critiqued her job performance. That’s fair game.

      The essence of feminism is equal treatment. I want to be treated the same as any man might be treated. That means, if I do a job that’s great, give me the same pay & the same praise. If I do a shitty job, dock my pay & tell me I suck. No better, no worse. If you think a fellow woman should be treated with kid gloves when doing her job *just because she’s a woman* then you’re a sexist. Just like a man who thinks a fellow man should be treated better just because he’s a man.

      And don’t tell me about the marches — I participated in 2 on Saturday, in San Jose in the morning & San Francisco in the evening (in the pouring rain), as did both the other women on Frock Flicks, one w/me in SF & the other in our state’s capitol, Sacramento.

      1. Damn! What is going on with this commenters??! Perfect response Trystan. Maybe you should have a “snark-free” week so all the whiny people on here can see how ridiculous it is when you aren’t allowed to voice your opinion. I love you ladies and your snark is awesome. I also love that these people don’t see the irony is their getting pissy about your snark and instead of say, finding a different website, come on here to publicly whine about you. Ugh.

        Anyway, keep it up! It’s okay to have opinions ;).

  4. Mulligan is a case example of studio chosen “stars” failing upward. It doesn’t matter how awful Mulligan or most of her peers are as actors. They can appear in one bomb after the next. But they will still be given lead roles because…no reason except a group of executives, managers and agents got together and chose them. Maybe they got a date out of it…or more. Or maybe it is because they fancy themselves prescient to pick winners.

    One thing that never fails is their ability to pick one loser after another. Mulligan is one of them. She has the same crooked pout/half-smile and teary eyes in one movie after another. It never varies.

    Somehow we are supposed to believe she is devastatingly attractive. Even more so than Julie Christie (the prior Bathsheba). She was woefully miscast in Gatsby, I would have believed her as Daisy’s maid not as Daisy.

    I actively avoid her. I broke this vow with Gatsby. But only to see the train wreck and laugh.

  5. You are 100% correct. Bring on the train wreck. But Baz shouldn’t be allowed to direct. Moulin Rouge was a fluke. Or was Nicole’s performance so incandescent that you forgot him?

    1. Moulin Rouge worked because it was totally a rip off of Zefirelli’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme.

      For Gatsby, Baz had no one to rip off. Hence the train wreck.

      1. True, but I felt Baz added La Traviatta to the mix. Zeffirelli directed Teresa Stratos in a beautiful production Her aria ‘Addio del La passato’ literally brought me to tears.

    2. Hated Moulin Rouge – Ewan McGregor bellowing all over the place – awful! Never understood the love for this film (except the Lady Marmalade cover). I like Carey in Far From the Madding Crowd & Never Let Me Go (non-historical).

  6. I’m sorry, but you’ve crossed the line here. You’re entitled to your opinion of Carey Mulligan, but in no way can I agree with you. Not about her.

    This whole article sounds like another one of those propaganda campaigns in which moviegoers love to bash successful actresses who began in their 20s and are still successful in their thirties.

    1. I’m not sure where any of that is coming from, because the tone in the post and in the comments is pretty much mellow and restrained for us. You’ve been here for a while, you’ve seen the way things can go when we really pull out all the stops on someone. Nothing in what’s been written here is “bashing” her. Pretty much everyone is in agreement that she’s just blah. I am sure there are many others who haven’t commented who disagree with Trystan’s assessment, and hey, that’s cool.

      I’m just not seeing anything close to the kind of vitriolic hatred that you’re alleging.

    2. If she is entitled to her opinion, than how had she crossed the line by expressing it? The only thing I can see, is that you feel she’s crossed a line by expressing something that “in no way [you] agree with”.

  7. I completely agree with your intiall comment about treating women equally when cricticing actors work. But in general I don’t think your assessment of her work is particularly accurate, rigorous or constructive. It was also not a pointed attack on your article, I patently mentioned the comments below it. As someone who, has had their picture, widely circulated in the last few days, due to participating in the Womens March and thus been exposed a quite incredible amount of abuse, I’m just sick of reading further vindictive and uninspired attacks on other women (please note this is mostly about the comments not the article).

    1. Ok, then

      1) you should direct your comments at other commenters — there’s a handy little “reply” button below each comment that lets you do so.

      2) I honestly don’t see any comments that were personally attacking Mulligan — so far, I’ve seen only ppl who don’t enjoy her as an actor. YMMV, but again, take it up with specific comments & what words ppl actually use.

      3) finally, are you new to Frock Flicks? did you see the title “SNARK WEEK”? this is when we purposefully SNARK about historical costume movies. deep, nuanced critique is not the point. having fun is. lord knows we all need some laughs in these dark days — this is how WE do it, by making fun of shitty historical costume movies & that can include the acting.

    1. I also liked her in Doctor Who. I just don’t much care for her subsequent stuff, but she was good enough for the episode to make my Top Three Favorite Reboot Who Episodes.

      1. Oh that’s right, she was in that one. Also one of my fave Who episodes. But, yes, there was the advantage of the great script and directing. With that one she only needed to swept along for her performance to be good.

  8. No I’m not new to this site, I actually work in a major costume house in the UK and have shared your previous posts on our page. And I’m not lacking a sense of humour!

    But yes my perspectives are different from working in the industry.

    I completely take your points. I was just making a general point about the tone, and you know, I generally just don’t agree.

    1. Disagree with the point — as in, you think she’s a great actor — FABULOUS. That’s awesome. That’s brilliant. Enjoy! She’s your cup of tea & not ours. Perfect.

      Just don’t go throwing around unsubstantiated generalizations about other commenters & attack US as not being feminists for disliking the way one woman does her job. Bec. that’s bullshit & we will call you out on it every day & twice on Sunday.

  9. I actually liked her in Gatsby, but purely because I loathe Daisy Buchanan and she was 100% the flaky, selfish, spoiled child that I remember from the novel.

  10. She’s ok as low-key, ‘supporting actress’ sort of roles, but as a lead? I keep wanting to shake her and say DRINK SOME COFFEE, WOMAN! HAVE A RED BULL! DO SOME JUMPING JACKS! Anything for a little energy!

  11. I imprinted upon her negatively (and probably unfairly) because my first real exposure (the first time I took notice of her, is when she played the horrible daughter in the PBS (BBC One) *The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard* about a progressive, pragmatic everywoman who manages to find herself Prime Minister (with Janet McTeer as her Chancellor of the Exchequer!).. and Carey was her silly, ridiculous daughter who kept trying to wreck her mother’s career.

    I was able to abide her well enough as Daisy because of the the wardrobe, but I always have thought that Daisy Buchanan was a terrible wretch in every version.

  12. I actually did enjoy her in Northanger Abbey. As someone else mentioned I think she *can* be ok in a supporting role, but is so often “weak tea” (if I may borrow the phrase) as that that I can imagine starring roles beyond her – although I admit I haven’t seen any of the movies where she was a/the central character so I probably shouldn’t really judge.

  13. She wasn’t awful, but still kind of blah, in An Education set in 1960’s London. Her character was a school girl who got in involved with a married man and has a sad when she finds out about it.

  14. Oh, thank goodness! I thought it was me! Everything I see her in is so dreary and depressing. I tried to watch Drive and had to stop midway through because she was knocking me out. I couldn’t tell why Ryan Gosling was enchanted by her. I can’t go back and watch her other stuff, even where she sort of looks like the baby faced ingenue. She might make a great Sleeping Beauty or an android heroine who discovers emotions and heartache in the plot, but she’s otherwise not very good at showing emotion. While I appreciate Gatsby for bringing Art Deco Fashions and motifs back, I took one look at it and realized that it was going to be aesthetic and miserable. And Carey always looks a bit like she’s so exhausted, she’s about to burst into tears. I feel like I should hug her and give her fistfuls of caffeine pills.

  15. I never understood Carey Mulligan’s appeal. At least with Kiera Knightly, I can understand why people like her as an actress and want her in films (even if she isn’t my favorite actress). Carey Mulligan gets almost the same level of admiration, but she doesn’t do anything other than sit there, look pretty, and occasionally be sad. She’s cute, but she’s milquetoast and boring as fuck. And as far as I can tell, she doesn’t even appear to have a personality in real life, either! Even my parents like her, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. Maybe she gives off a “seems like such a nice girl” vibe that older British people like. I know better than that, though. Those are the ones that always turn out to be serial killers (god, I hope so! Something to make her interesting and worth all the attention, please!)

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