I have no idea what Carey Mulligan’s feelings are about her awards show season back in 2010 when she was nominated for An Education. She was 100% the new kid, and I don’t know if she was happy to be along for the ride, or thought it was all ridiculous, or really hoped she’d win (memory refresh – the category included Meryl Streep, Gabourey Sibide, Helen Mirren, and eventual winner for The Blind Side, Sandra Bullock. Were we ever so young?). 


What we do know is she came to play this year. Every appearance (that was possible) and events like hosting SNL – complete with her partner Marcus Mumford – has been straight out of the Oscar hopeful playbook. Approachable, appealing, lots of sides… and of course, it’s not as though all those moves, even though we’ve seen them, are only for Oscar; everyone you might work with next, or several nexts from now, gets to see all those sides too.

She definitely pulled out a different kind of glam last night – this big gold Valentino ball gown with a cut-out is the most typically ‘party’ dress we’ve seen from her in a long time, and I like it in and of itself, especially from the front: 


I do kind of wish though that she’d gone full glam with the styling. Big hair, maybe some messy, smoky eye makeup – not because she should have to look a certain way, of course, but given that she’s even made fun of herself (as on SNL recently pointed out) for how often she plays a certain type of buttoned-up British character, I thought maybe there was a possibility. Then again, maybe the addition of the midriff, which is very not Carey, was far enough? Or maybe it is more her now, and this dress is a bit of an invitation to see more sides of her – Lainey was reminded of this move from Taylor Swift a few years ago… you see it, right? 

Taylor Swift arrives at The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California
Taylor Swift arrives at The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California

In any event, I will say that it seemed like she would have been happy to win for this role, and that she kind of got a raw deal – aside from the weirdest year on record (and a film and a narrative that could have done really well on other occasions), the lights came up late on her when they were doing the introductions of the performers, she didn’t present an award or participate in any bits (maybe COVID strategy, yes, but some nominees, like Viola Davis, had other stuff to do) and in general, just reminds us that it can be a whole lot of effort for not a lot of reward on these nights. Here’s hoping she’s feeling good about playing the long game. As I told a group chat last night, while some people felt envious about all the glam, I still feel like putting on outdoor clothes for public consumption (and outdoor personas while we’re at it) is best left for the professionals right now – and I have a feeling that as Carey Mulligan goes back to her ‘regular’ life today, she might be feeling the same way.