Wednesday 3 February 2021 (12:58)
Photo: PAP / EPA
In late January, the highly anticipated biographical drama “The Fossils”, starring Ralph Fiennes and Carrie Mulligan, was added to the Netflix catalog. While no one is to blame the actor, the choice of the lead actress angered some viewers. It is not about the British actress’ skills, it is about her age. According to the audience, she is simply too young for the role. “Women in their 40s are still invisible in pop culture,” commentators say.
The biographical drama “Excavations”, directed by Simon Stone, is an adaptation of the John Preston novel. It tells the story of wealthy widow Edith Preeti, who prior to the outbreak of World War II hired an archaeologist to investigate the mysterious hills of her estate in Suffolk. Together, they make a historic discovery that will shock Britain. The plot is based on facts – it is the reconstruction of the famous three-month excavation at Sutton Hoo, which resulted in the discovery of a boat with an intact tomb-chamber of the Anglo-Saxon King Redwald. The main roles in the film were played by Ralph Fiennes and Carrie Mulligan.
The choice of the British actress, who flaunts her Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA nominations, sparked much controversy. Some viewers are even angry at her being assigned the role of Edith Peretti. However, audience claims are not related to allegations of lack of acting skills among movie stars “Drive”, “Shame” and “There Was a Girl”, but rather her age. According to commentators, the 35-year-old Carrie is simply too young to play the Suffolk property owner, who was 56 years old during the events presented in the movie. Initially, the role of Pretty was entrusted to Nicole Kidman, who withdrew from the project. Then Mulligan’s engagement took place. Viewers do not hide their frustration with the decision of the creators.
Among the dissatisfied was Betty Edney, star of the “Boldark – Cherry Lusso” fashion series. “They wouldn’t just let a woman in her 40s appear on screen, would they? 58-year-old fury on Twitter. This has been echoed by members of the collective group Behind the Woman, whose mission is to break down stereotypes about age and help postmenopausal women. “We feel very sorry for the idea of all these wonderful actresses in their 50s who may have played Mrs. Pretty.” He commented in a post on Twitter: “As long as the 30-year-olds are still playing in 50-year-old films, we will remain invisible. EastEnders “Casey Ainsworth on her mind.” I’m really excited to be able to star in a production where the regular cast members were over 50. But this is rare, “- she confirmed.
Critical reviews also continue to appear on Twitter. “I watched Excavation yesterday, and I couldn’t understand why such a young actress is playing the lead. After all, the heroine has to be 56/57 years old,” asked one commentator. “I really liked this movie and I think Carrie Mulligan did a great job. But the question is, why is the 35-year-old actress portrayed as being 50? Are old women really superfluous?” Asked another. “Gee, what a missed opportunity to assign the role to an actress of the right age. Carrie is nice but definitely inexperienced.” Another Twitter user said, “Women in their 40s are still invisible in pop culture.”
The film’s director had previously defended Mulligan’s participation. Simon Stone admitted that even before the premiere, he faced accusations of unfortunate appearances. “The novel deviates from the truth in many respects, and it does not seem to be a completely faithful record of those events, so in the making of the film we really had an opportunity to abandon historical accuracy,” he said in an interview. The same actress admitted in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that she was already too old for makeup artists for the role. However, she does not see anything inappropriate in her performance. “There is an age difference between me and the character I play, so I got old with make-up. It seems to me that the most important thing was to honor the generous and humble woman Edith. It was the feeling of her presence that was the most important” – said the star. (PAP life)
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