|Carey Mulligan as
A suburban London teen finds her traditional education replaced by something slightly more sinister when an older, more worldly suitor sweeps her off of her feet while placing her future in jeopardy. London, 1961: 16-year-old Jenny is smart, attractive, and eager to start her adult life. She’s grown tired of the familiar adolescent routine, so when urbane newcomer David appears in town, Jenny senses a rare opportunity to shake things up a bit. Quickly falling under David’s spell, the impressionable Jenny begins accompanying her newfound beau to classical concerts, art auctions, crowded pubs, and dinners that stretch into the small hours of the night. But Jenny is brighter than most kids her age, and her parents always dreamt of getting their exceptional daughter into Oxford. These days it seems like she’s headed in a different direction — will David ultimately be her undoing, or the person who helps her finally realize her true potential?
Carey Mulligan mentioned in an interview at the Sundance Film Festival that some of the most enjoyable moments of filming where when there were actors who only came in for a day or so, like Sally Hawkins and Emma Thompson, and she particularly enjoyed the four scenes she shot with the latter, whom she described as being “amazing”, and called her acting “brilliant”.
The creative team were initially worried about casting the 22 year old Carey Mulligan in the role of a 16 year old, but were convinced by her screen test.
Miss Stubbs: You seem to be old and wise.
Jenny: I feel old. But not very wise.
Jenny: One of the boys I dated, and they were boys, suggested that we go to Paris and I said I’d always wanted to see Paris. As if I’d never been!
David: Do you go to concerts?
Jenny: No. We don’t believe in concerts.
David: Oh, I assure you, they’re real.
Jenny: If people die the moment that they graduate, then surely it’s the things we do beforehand that count.
Jenny: I don’t want to lose my virginity to a piece of fruit.
Jenny: If you never do anything, you never become anyone.
Jenny: [Jenny's thoughts on sex ] It’s funny though, isn’t it? All that poetry and all those songs, about something that lasts no time at all.
Headmistress: Nobody does anything worth doing without a degree.
Jenny: Nobody does anything worth doing WITH a degree. No woman anyway.
Headmistress: So what I do isn’t worth doing? Or what Miss Stubbs does, or Mrs. Wilson, or any of us here? Because none of us would be here without a degree. You do realize that, don’t you? And yes, of course studying is hard and boring…
Headmistress: I’m sorry?
Jenny: Studying is hard and boring. Teaching is hard and boring. So, what you’re telling me is to be bored, and then bored, and finally bored again, but this time for the rest of my life? This whole stupid country is bored! There’s no life in it, or color, or fun! It’s probably just as well the Russians are going to drop a nuclear bomb on us any day now. So my choice is to do something hard and boring, or to marry my… Jew, and go to Paris and Rome and listen to jazz, and read, and eat good food in nice restaurants, and have fun! It’s not enough to educate us anymore Ms. Walters. You’ve got to tell us why you’re doing it.
Awards & Nominations
Won – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Won – British Independent Film Award for Best Actress
Won – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Won – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer
Won – Hollywood Breakthrough Award for Actress of the Year
Won – London Critics Circle Film Award for British Actress of the Year
Won – National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
Won – Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Won – Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Won – Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Won – Women in Film and Television Award for Best Performance
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Empire Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Empire Award for Best Newcomer
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – London Critics Circle Film Award for Actress of the Year
Nominated – Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated – Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Breakthrough Performance