Wildlife: Carey Mulligan as Unfaithful Wife )Cannes)

Carey Mulligan plays a woman who cheats on her husband in Paul Dano’s feature directing debut, Wildlife, a 1960s-set drama that opened the selective Critics Week sidebar of the 2018 Cannes Film Fest.

It’s the kind of meaty role that are usually reserved for men, Mulligan said during an interview on Thursday as part of the Variety Women in Motion talks.

Double Standards

“You very rarely see women on screen who are being unfaithful,” she argued, “It’s so rare to see a woman allowed to fail on screen.”

In past productions — both studio films and low-budget indies — Mulligan said that the directors have cut scenes in which her characters have done something morally objectionable.

“I was told that the audience doesn’t really like it when a woman is not very nice,” Mulligan said.

But Jeanette, the unhappy housewife that Mulligan plays in “Wildlife,” isn’t a villain or a bad person. She’s frustrated by the limited opportunities afforded her in a sexist society, fed up by her husband’s inability to land a good job, and desperately hoping to shake up a life that’s become stifling and unfulfilling.