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Top 10 Carey Mulligan Performances

VO: Richard Bush
From BBC dramas to Hollywood Blockbusters, this actress’s CV is anything but bland. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Carey Mulligan performances. For this list, we’ll be looking at this London-born actress’ extensive filmography to highlight her greatest performances to date. Though the spoilers are at a minimum, slight warning for them nonetheless. Special thanks to our users Coop and JosephT for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Carey Mulligan Performances


From BBC dramas to Hollywood Blockbusters, this actress’s CV is anything but bland. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Carey Mulligan performances.

For this list, we’ll be looking at this London-born actress’ extensive filmography to highlight her greatest performances to date. Though the spoilers are at a minimum, slight warning for them nonetheless.

#10: Kathy H
“Never Let Me Go” (2010)

In this British dystopian drama, Carey Mulligan plays Kathy H, one of our three protagonists caught up in a complex love triangle. And this is definitely no ordinary triangle. Set in an alternate universe where life and relationships aren’t as simple as they might seem, this film sees Mulligan star opposite Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield, with Carey’s performance standing out because of her character’s quietly reserved attitude. But don’t take her at face value - she’s vital to the twists and turns in this story.

#9: Sally Sparrow
“Doctor Who” (1963-89; 2005-)

Away from her American blockbusters, Carey’s British roots lead all the way to the TARDIS. The “Doctor Who” episode “Blink” aired in 2007, featuring the actress as Sally Sparrow; a young woman the Doctor and Martha try to communicate with, to try and prevent the rise of the Weeping Angels. The story received widespread critical acclaim and is still considered to be one of the best episodes since the show’s 2005 revival. And though Carey can’t take all the credit, her turn as Sally was central to its success.

#8: Daisy Buchanan
“The Great Gatsby” (2013)

Director Baz Luhrmann certainly made his mark on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel with this glamorous adaptation, but even amongst all that glitz, Mulligan’s performance as Daisy shines like a gem. It’s hard to ignore the character everyone seems to be talking about, after all. Although the actress herself has admitted she didn’t rate her performance that highly, fans of the film beg to differ. Among all the excess and excitement, we watch Daisy’s dazzling effect on Gatsby play out - and we’re equally captivated.

#7: Jean Berkey
“Inside Llewyn Davis” (2013)

Proving Carey’s versatility, we switch to an entirely different style and tone of film, written and directed by the Coen brothers. In “Inside Llewyn Davis”, Mulligan plays Jean Berkey, a challenging character who appears to have a very troubled relationship with our titular musician. Although she has limited screen time, hers is a pivotal role in the film, mostly thanks to Jean’s scathing attacks on Llewyn. But, despite her hard-faced approach, Jean’s vulnerability also comes through. We humans are complicated creatures, and Mulligan excels at conveying that complexity.

#6: Irene
”Drive” (2011)

From soundtrack to cinematography, this film is a firm fan favourite - and Mulligan is a major reason for its success. Here, she plays Irene who, along with trying to keep tabs on her own eventful life, falls for her mysterious getaway driver neighbour. And, when the action all gets a bit too much, Irene is there to help pick up the pieces. All in all, you can understand why Ryan Gosling’s unnamed driver becomes so enamored with her quiet strength - during a movie which mesmerises throughout.

#5: Laura McAllan
“Mudbound” (2017)

In this Netflix period drama, Carey plays Laura, a character who struggles to settle into life on a new farm after moving there with her husband. It’s clear from the outset that Mulligan’s character has her reservations and the actress carries this performance with a subtle sensitivity that draws everyone in. The movie provides her with plenty of moments to shine as her character adjusts to her surroundings, dealing with various traumatic events in the process. So, whether she’s acting opposite Jason Clarke or Garrett Hedlund, both of whom also turn in solid performances, she tends to steal the spotlight.

#4: Sissy Sullivan
“Shame” (2011)

While Carey doesn’t land the lead role here, her work is integral to this film’s intensity. A Steve McQueen movie about two siblings with a somewhat confusing relationship, Mulligan plays Sissy who suddenly shows up in her brother’s life and knocks his routine into further disarray. She sings, she muses and she creates general havoc with just the subtlest of glances and smallest of movements. Ultimately, even in a film which so firmly centres on Michael Fassbender’s character and his sex addiction, it’s impossible to ignore Carey’s performance.

#3: Maud Watts
“Suffragette” (2015)

Mulligan takes centre stage next, for a film that explores the suffragette movement. Here she plays fictional character Maud Watts, who stumbles upon a suffragette rally, and soon finds herself front and centre for the women’s rights campaign. Producing a definitive performance in what is ultimately an extremely reflective and important production, Carey helps to recreate the hardship and struggles that countless women endured during this crucial chapter of human history - bringing their stories to another generation of moviegoers.

#2: DI Kip Glaspie
“Collateral” (2018)

Further showcasing her dramatic flexibility, Mulligan is as bold and brilliant as ever in this gritty crime drama. Playing the protagonist DI Kip Glaspie, her performance avoids all the overused who-dunnit cliched copper stereotypes, and instead breathes life into a self-assured yet compassionate character. Pitching the actor into a less polished production, she scales plenty of narrative twists, with high tension around every corner. Critics took some issue with the show itself, but few could question Carey’s own impact.

#1: Jenny Mellor
“An Education” (2009)

A star-making role for today’s actress, this brilliant British coming-of-age film has Mulligan play the 16 year old Jenny, who harbours feelings for a much older man. And she soon ends up in a world that is far outside her comfort zone. While it’d be easy to label this character as a naive girl who should have known better, Mulligan adds a depth and trademark sensitivity to the role that makes this film even more heart-wrenching every time you watch it.
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