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Will 'An Education' contend at Oscars beyond bid by Carey Mulligan?

October 9, 2009 |  8:29 am

An Education Carey Mulligan Peter Sarsgaard Alfred Molina Oscars Entertainment News Article 2468097 No surprise that Carey Mulligan is being singled out by the critics in their rave reviews for "An Education." After all, Mulligan has been touted as the new 'It' girl ever since "An Education" unspooled at Sundance last January. But beyond her likely best actress bid at all the year-end movie kudos, including the Oscars, what other awards contenders are there from "An Education"? 

Danish director Lone Scherfig won many film festival awards in Europe for "Italian for Beginners" in 2000. Were she to land an Oscar nod, she would be only the fourth woman to do so after Lina Wertmuller ("Seven Beauties," 1976); Jane Campion ("The Piano," 1993); and Sofia Coppola ("Lost in Translation," 2003).

Campion and Coppola competed at the Golden Globes as well. The only woman to win with the Globes was Barbra Streisand for her directorial debut "Yentl" in 1983; she picked up another bid with "The Prince of Tides" in 1991. The DGA nominated all these woman -- save for Babs the first time -- and also recognized Randa Haines for "Children of a Lesser God" (1986) and Valerie Faris (along with Jonathan Dayton) for "Little Miss Sunshine" (2006).

Till now, the only screenplay credit for novelist Nick Hornby was when he adapted his bestseller "Fever Pitch" for the original film version in 1997. He did share in a USC Scripter nod for "High Fidelity" in 2000. That award recognizes the author of the source material, in this case a novel, as well as the screenwriter. Today Hornby is being hailed for his sensitive adaptation of the memoir, also titled "An Education," by Lynn Barber.

Peter Sarsgaard, who plays the cad of an older man in "An Education, contended for a slew of supporting kudos for his turns in "Shattered Glass" (2003) and "Kinsey" (2004). While he lost his Golden Globe bid for "Shattered Glass" to eventual Oscar winner Tim Robbins ("Mystic River"), Sarsgaard did pick up a few critics prizes along the way. 

Alfred Molina is earning praise for his performance as Carey Mulligan's demanding father in "An Education." He competed for several showbiz awards for his supporting turn in "Frida" (2002) and was part of the SAG-nominated ensembles of "Boogie Nights" (1997); "Magnolia" (1999); and "Chocolat" (2000). He has twice contended for lead actor at the Tony Awards -- first for the play "Art" in 1998 and then for the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" in 2004.

Photo: Alfred Molina, from left, Rosamund Pike, Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard  Credit: Sony Pictures Classic

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