on December 11, 2014
This film is a wonderful and touching "coming-of-age" character study that is beautifully realized and acted. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to explore the emotional landscapes of family, first love, first heart-break, and the sometimes deep pain of becoming an adult. I just loved it!
The year is 1962, and sixteen-year old Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is a cello-playing student who hopes to attend Oxford. A chance meeting with a charming man twice her age quickly develops into a romance, opening up an exciting, glamorous world to the young girl.
This is a coming-of-age story with a wonderful script and a stellar cast. Young Carey Mulligan is pretty, funny, sensitive, and gutsy and has loads of charisma. She didn't look quite young enough but was still delightful. Peter Sarsaard plays the older man who sweeps her (and her family) of her feet. He's absolutely convincing as the worldly lecher who pursues Jenny. He gave me the creeps and I couldn't understand why her family welcomed him with such open arms. It was nice to see Emma Thompson in a small but meaty role as Jenny's headmistress.
Although it has disturbing moments, I enjoyed the movie very much and I think Miss Mulligan is destined for many great film roles in the future.
on April 4, 2010
Based on a memoir by British Journalist Lynn Barber, An Education is the coming of age story of a sixteen year old school girl Jenny who has an affair with a much older man. It is the early 1960s London on the cusp of the swinging sixties and percocious straight A student, Jenny is working hard in preparation for the exams which her parents hope will earn her admission to Oxford. For Jenny, Oxford will mean liberation and the pursuit of a more sophisticated life far from a dull one in the London suburbs. One day while waiting for a bus in the rain a stranger offers her a ride home. This charmer is named David Goldman and he carefully courts her by introducing her to the adult life she yearns for. He also charms her parents, convincing them that it would safe to take their daughter away for weekends and of course to Paris -- after all his aunt will chaperone. Of course there is no real aunt and the so called Aunt Helen is the dipsy girlfriend of his partner in shady business dealings. It seems that the carefree life that David lives is funded by real estate fraud and theft. Jenny turns a blind eye, becomes engaged to him, give up on her dreams of Oxford. Her naive parents agree -- after all Jenny won't need an education if she is married to a nice man? Her teachers are worried that Jenny is throwing all her chances away. When Jenny realized the depth of David's dishonesty, she grows wise and realizes that you cannot take shortcuts in life. Carey Mulligan's performce is complex -- a girl who is intellgent and mature and yet she is still a girl, not as sophisticated as she pretends, a little naive but is nevertheless pert in her sixties fashions. Mulligan recalls a young Audrey Hepburn. Rosamund Pike shines as the impossibly beautiful but dim Helen. Olive Williams is almost unrecognizable under her horn rimmed glasses as one of Jenny's intellegent teachers. An Education is a story about the possibilities of Jenny's life. She learns from what she goes through and gains wisedom which as Lynn Barber later observed in her memoirs, was her real education.
on March 21, 2010
This is one of those movies you wish they'd make more of. Intelligent, subtle, well-cast, well-acted, and totally deserving of the attention it's received. I couldn't quite believe that the character Jenny was portrayed by the same actress that played Kitty in Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice. Carey Mulligan floored me with her gutsy and honest portrayal of Jenny. She certainly made the world stand up and take notice. Peter Sarsgaard was perfect and Rosamund Pike is as luminous as ever. A quality film that dares to veer away from the tiresome Hollywood formula. Bravo!