Directed by Lone Scherfig
Starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Cara Seymour, Olivia Williams, Emma Thompson, Rosamund Pike
Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 4.5/5
Word of Warning: None – I simply love this movie.
Finally, a really good film is in theaters. How refreshing! Fabulous directing, outstanding acting and a clever narrative make this film a HeidiTown favorite (and I would nominate “An Education” for Best Picture come Oscar season).
“An Education” is based on a memoir written by Lynn Barber, a celebrated British journalist, who is known for her controversial interviews and who has won five British Press Awards. As with any memoir there is no way to know how truthful the story really is, but I can tell you, regardless of accuracy, it is a great story.
Jenny is a precocious sixteen-year-old growing up in the middleclass suburbs of London in the early 1960s. Jenny is the only daughter of parents who have worked tirelessly to support her aspiration to attend Oxford. She is enrolled in a private all-girls school where she is head of the class.
A chance encounter on a rainy day changes Jenny’s life forever. She meets David, an older man who is familiar with all the finer things life has to offer – the very things Jenny longs to know and experience. The two begin a rather harmless friendship, but as the audience suspects from the beginning, it soon develops into more.
The dialogue in “An Education” is, as the Brits would say, “just brill.” And even though the overall pace of this film is leisurely, the witty dialogue, terrific costumes, striking sets, and good use of tension building, make this movie as visually stimulating as it is emotionally engaging.
Carey Mulligan is the up-and-coming British actress who plays Jenny, and despite outstanding performances by the entire cast, the 24-year-old steals each and every scene in which she appears. With a dazzling smile and undeniable talent, Mulligan is definitely one to watch in the future.
“An Education” isn’t a Lolita story. Jenny is a good English girl, from a good English family, and David has all outward appearances of a good English gentlemen. In fact, the PG13 rating is almost excessive. The film is a coming of age story with the more scandalous parts of the narrative left entirely to the imagination.
The fact is “An Education” doesn’t need to be salacious in order to get the story across. It explores the loss of innocence with a delightful subtly, and I highly recommend this movie.
Note: “An Education” is currently playing at Lyric Cinema CafÃ© in Fort Collins.