On paper, would you ever consider giving Carey Mulligan top billing over Meryl Streep for a movie? Their star power and cinematic trajectories couldn’t be more different. But that’s what happens in the first trailer for Suffragette, which was released today.

It’s a first look at what many are calling an awards season favourite. The speculation, of course, is understandable considering its focus on women fighting for the right to vote in the UK. Why release a clip now? The movie’s secured an Oct. 23 release date but with the Cannes Film Festival lineup set to come out tomorrow, Suffragette could be a possibility. 

We don’t see Carey talk in the sneak peek, only Meryl, who says, “Never surrender. Never give up the fight.” But it’s clear Carey’s in charge. The whole movie centers on her character, Maud, who Deadline describes as a “working wife and mother who decides she must fight for her dignity both at home and in her workplace.” Showy, sure, but, the film’s power rankings are made clear right from the start of the teaser:

Carey Mulligan
Helena Bonham Carter
Brendan Gleeson
and Meryl Streep

This is Carey’s movie, and it could also be her year… or at least her spring. She’s getting raves on Broadway with Skylight and is about to release her new film, Far From the Madding Crowd, which she sings in. Oh and Suffragette? It’s written by Abi Morgan, the same woman who scripted Shame… and we all know Carey (and her one-take version of “New York, New York”) was the best non-penile part of that movie. It’s fair to say she wrote this for Carey… to give her a moment. In fairness, it stars both of Abi’s muses – Carey and Meryl – seeing as she’s the brain behind The Iron Lady, too.

Carey always shines but especially at Cannes. Remember how gorgeous she looked on the Riviera two years ago while promoting The Great Gatsby and Inside Llewyn Davis? Click here and here for a refresher. You couldn’t take your eyes off her. And her performances? Stellar, as always.

She’s all talent and grace, with none of the in-your-face hunger.

So will Suffragette give Carey her second Oscar nomination? It’s too early to call but she’d have the industry support for sure. A Cannes run can only help.

All this and she’s only 29…

Attached - Carey exiting the opening night of Skylight in New York earlier this month.