Plumping for Pike in ‘An Education’

Posted by · 5:30 am · July 12th, 2009

Rosamund Pike in An EducationIt seems that Lone Scherfig’s British period drama “An Education” continues to steal the heart of pretty much everyone who sees it — this has been near the top of my “most anticipated” list for some time now.

You may remember a recent piece where Kris, while echoing the resounding praise for the film and its breakout star Carey Mulligan, really flew the flag for supporting star Alfred Molina.

Now comes further applause for the film — and an emphatic endorsement for yet another member of the film’s ensemble — from an interesting source: Santa Barbara Film Festival director Roger Durling.

In an ecstatic note to Jeff Wells, one of the film’s earliest champions, Durling likens watching the film to “a state of movie nirvana” and declares Mulligan both “sublime” and “the leading contender at this point for Best Actress.” But I’m most interested to see that he singles out the supporting work of 30 year-old British actress Rosamund Pike for special attention.

In my Page to Screen discussion of “An Education” last week, I speculated that Lynn Barber’s memoir offered Pike something potentially special to work with, and Durling’s opinion justifies my faith:

I was particularly taken with Rosamund Pike [who plays Dominic Cooper’s somewhat ditzy, arm-candy girlfriend]. That’s a difficult role. There’s a knowingness about this character despite the fact that she’s not supposed to be playing a smart one. At times I felt — delightfully — as if Pike was winking at us and letting us know of the sleight-of-hand she was performing. And it made the role sexier because of it.

I’ve noticed how beautiful and talented this actress is in other movies, but she’s a knock-out in An Education. God, I hope she gets some recognition!

Nothing would please me more than to see some recognition for Pike, the kind of hard-working actor who has all the ingredients of stardom but, despite performing solidly in such high-profile projects as “Die Another Day” and “Pride and Prejudice,” simply hasn’t had her moment yet.

I was recently jolted into awareness of her formidable skills when she managed to outact Judi Dench in “Madame De Sade” onstage in London, yet even in her home country, she still remains best known for her offscreen as Joe Wright’s jilted ex. Maybe “An Education” can change that.

Meanwhile, the increasingly widespread acclaim for the film’s ensemble, as opposed to just one star-making performance, is leading me to think “An Education” could grow deeper roots into this year’s awards race than many are suspecting.

→ 13 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

13 responses so far

  • 1 7-12-2009 at 6:35 am

    slayton said...

    Pike was drop-dead brilliant in the little-seen “The Libertine”. She doesn’t have a lot of screen time, but she has a scene near the end that simply blew me off my feet. If anyone saw the film she could easily have snagged a nomination – its the kind of powerful acting in short screen time that Oscar likes to reward (Baddeley, Dee, Straight, Davis, Richardson etc). She won the BIFA for Best Supporting Actor/Actress but she should have gotten more. She’s my personal runner-up for Best Supporting Actress in 2005, behind Amy Adams.

  • 2 7-12-2009 at 7:55 am

    tdr said...

    Completely agree with you, slayton. The movie wasn’t seen by many, but Pike’s performance was great. I really loved her scene when she poured the alcohol in the estunguished fire place in an attempt to get her husband to pull himself together. I remember watching it and thinking that she should be nominated for that role.
    Hopefully she will get there with “An Education”. And hopefully Molina as well.

  • 3 7-12-2009 at 8:02 am

    RichardA said...

    The role of a “ditzy, arm-candy girlfriend” has a great winning history in the Oscars, particularly for the Best Supporting Actress category.

  • 4 7-12-2009 at 9:02 am

    highwayroller said...

    Pike was absolutely brilliant in ‘an Education’, true. And hilarious! I remember very well the screening of the movie in Berlin last February, the audience just died of laughter every time Pike cracked one of her “ladies’ secrets” to poor Mulligan.

  • 5 7-12-2009 at 11:47 am

    Gustavo H.R. said...

    Good. She was so enchanting in P&P…

  • 6 7-12-2009 at 3:00 pm

    geha714 said...

    I hope this is Pike’s big moment.

    She’s for me the best Bond girl since the resurrection of the franchise in 1995.

  • 7 7-12-2009 at 3:06 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    so now weve heard praise for best actor, actress, supporting actress, and supporting actor, with obvious things such as director and picture up for grabs and adapted screen play, what oter awards could this movie be after?

  • 8 7-12-2009 at 3:20 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Well, it’s an outside shot, but it did win a cinematography award at Sundance.

    Costumes look good too. I need to see this to judge.

  • 9 7-12-2009 at 8:25 pm

    Clayton said...

    In the past, I’ve gone out of my way to see these limited release movies in double- or triple-headers at the downtown arthouse theaters. This year, I think in most cases, I’ll wait for them to come to me. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this film in the previously-viewed bin at Blockbuster within four months. Not a comment on its predicted (artistic) quality; only that a lot of these types of films don’t lose a whole lot on the small screen, and I’d rather save some money. Added to the Netflix queue, I suppose.

  • 10 7-12-2009 at 10:02 pm

    Jim T said...

    I am really curious to see that Mulligan girl. I read she has done stage work and she will co-star in Never Let Me Go. Interestng case, I would say.

    I loved Pike in the Bond film but it hurt reading she outacted La Dench. I just love her so much :p. But maybe it was only a positive thing for Pike and not a negative for Dench.

    And the film looks very interesting. Can’t wait!

  • 11 7-13-2009 at 12:42 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Maybe it was only a positive thing for Pike and not a negative for Dench.”

    Very much so. Nothing wrong with Dench’s work in the play, but Pike did the heavier lifting dramatically, and did it extremely well. My point of view, anyway.

  • 12 7-13-2009 at 1:09 am

    Jeremy said...

    Sure would be wild if this thing got 4 acting noms…

    (in my self-deluded head, Sarsgaard has a chance)

  • 13 7-13-2009 at 2:42 pm

    head_wizard said...

    This getting better and better this is my most anticipated film so far I can’t wait!