Carey Mulligan Is About to Become a Household Name — Here Are 5 Films That Prove Why

Carey Mulligan

Trigger Warning: This article contains a reference to sexual assault.

Actress Carey Mulligan first captured the attention of cinephiles around the world when she starred in 2009’s An Education. While this was by no means her first acting role, it was certainly the one that put her on the map with her deeply nuanced portrayal of a young girl who falls in love with an older man. 

Since then, the British actress’s career has only gone from strength to strength with the 35-year-old most recently earning both a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nomination for her electric performance in the #MeToo era film Promising Young Woman.

Mulligan’s unbridled talent, and down-to-earth personality in interviews, make her an intriguing actress to watch with a varied body of work to enjoy.

Here are five Carey Mulligan films you should definitely watch. 

An Education 

In this coming-of-age drama, based on the novel by Lynn Barber, Mulligan plays Jenny. A sheltered teenager with a bright future and aspirations of attending Oxford University.

When David (Peter Sarsgaard), a charming but much older suitor, enters her life, Jenny falls for him and starts to get a taste of adult life that she won’t soon forget.

The Great Gatsby 

In Baz Lurhmann’s reimagining of the beloved F. Scott Fitzgerald book, Mulligan plays the beautiful, yet oppressed Daisy Buchanan who is married to an unfaithful husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton).

The film centres around midwest native Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) who arrives in 1922 New York and ends up living next door to mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and across the bay from Daisy, his cousin.

As Nick discovers more about the intoxicating world of the wealthy, and all of the dark secrets that go along with it, he begins to write the great American novel.


In Dee Rees’ Netflix masterpiece, Mudbound, Mulligan plays Laura McAllan, a young woman in a passionless marriage, raising her children on her husband’s Mississippi Delta farm.

She becomes close to her brother-in-law Jamie — who is the polar opposite of her husnand — when he returns from World War II, but he is haunted by his memories of combat.

Meanwhile, Ronsel Jackson, the Eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, returns from his active duty to find that he now must battle the prejudice of a Jim Crow South.

Promising Young Woman

Written and directed by Golden Globe nominee Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman is a brilliant hybrid of the mystery, comedy, thriller and drama genres and is filled with megastars.

Mulligan plays Cassie — a deeply traumatized medical student Cassie who is on a mission to seek retribution for her childhood friend who took her own life after being raped at a college party. The perpetrators of the attack never faced any consequences, thanks to their privileged lives and top lawyers hired by rich parents and Cassie can’t let it go.

The Dig 

Based on the John Preston novel of the same name, The Dig reimagines the true events of the 1939 excavation of medieval cemetery Sutton Hoo. 

Mulligan plays Edith Pretty, a Suffolk landowner who hires self-taught archaeologist Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) to dig up the mounds of dirt on her land, convinced that they hold important archaeological secrets. 

While there has been some controversy surrounding 35-year-old Mulligan being cast as a 56-year-old woman, her performance in the Netflix film has also been widely praised with the movie itself being applauded for its refreshingly accurate portrayal of archaeology. 


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