In Victorian England, the independent and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.
An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
In the early 1960's, sixteen-year-old Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan) lives with her parents in the London suburb of Twickenham. On her father Jack's (Alfred Molina's) wishes, everything that Jenny does is in the sole pursuit of being accepted into Oxford, as he wants her to have a better life than him. Jenny is bright, pretty, hard working, but also naturally gifted. The only problems her father may perceive in her life is her issue with learning Latin, and her dating a boy named Graham (Matthew Beard), who is nice, but socially awkward. Jenny's life changes after she meets David Goldman (Peter Sarsgaard), a man over twice her age. David goes out of his way to show Jenny and her family that his interest in her is not improper and that he wants solely to expose her to cultural activities which she enjoys. Jenny quickly gets accustomed to the life to which David and his constant companions, Danny (Dominic Cooper) and Helen (Rosamund Pike), have shown her, and Jenny and David's ...Written by
This movie marks the first time in his fifteen-year career that Peter Sarsgaard received top billing. He had been attached to this movie for several years. See more »
When Jenny invites David to the concert, she indicates that the composer is Elgar. David replies, "I'm afraid Elgar and the Jews don't get along". This may imply either Jews don't like Elgar (hard to prove) or that Elgar was anti-Semitic.
However there is no evidence of Elgar being anti-semitic, in fact from Elgar's biography - "1933 Flies to Paris to conduct performance of the Violin Concerto with Yehudi Menuhin (with whom he recorded it the previous year); visits the paralyzed Delius; writes of his dismay at Hitler's anti-Semitic policies in Germany;".
This does not appear to be an error - it is simply Goldman's opinion of Elgar, perhaps formed by Jewish acquaintances who do not like Elgar. See more »
My 313th Review: A good Chaucerian cautionary tale with a very significant debut by one Carey Mulligan
With excellent acting and excellent visuals this is a good film, as a Chaucerian cautionary tale, or a retake on Congreve, it succeeds in buckets. But more even than the excellent script by Nick Hornsby is a marvellous performance by Carey Mulligan.
It tackles what is an incredibly sensitive subject, more so today than even in its setting, the relationship between a teenager and an older man, with definite aplomb. What could have been either an anachronistic script filled with moral sensibilities that didn't surface in 1961 or a cheap and tawdry sensationalist production is handled with verve, humour, and brings both the wonder of first love and the seductive ability of that love to steer lives in directions we'd rather not go out in ways that work very well indeed.
Carey Mulligan has more than a touch of sensibility about her and is, obviously, the more mature, yet still a naive genué - her performance is to be admired for its ability to not switch characters but rather hold a fast course that is totally believable. I seriously cannot think of any debut in the past 20 years that has this weight. Like Taylor in National Velvet or Johnny Mill's daughter in Whistle Down the Wind you just know you are watching something very special indeed.
All the parts are very well written by Nick Hornsby and what we get is both complex and light, a witty drama with depth that truly evokes the post-Suez and Macmillan era; Britain before the Beatles but a Britain full of a generation who didn't wanted to be reminded of rationing and the Blitz, who were searching to get away from the drudgery of a boring job-for-life that was killing their parents by degrees.
While there are moments of real unease, not surprisingly given the subject matter, there is nothing to not recommend about this: it is thoughtful, funny, intriguing, and marks the start of a significant career for Carey Mulligan who will certainly become one of the leading British actresses of her generation.
39 of 61 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this