An Education: mini-review

I saw a screening of  An Education  several months ago –before THA in Boston decided I did not “deserve” the “privilege” of being on the press screening list.

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That’s the point of an Oxford education isn’t it Dad? It’s the expensive equivalent to a dinner dance.

–Jenny

An Education has several things going for it:
–Nick Hornby [About a Boy, High Fidelity], proving he can write about young women as deftly as he can write about young men, penned the screenplay.
–The story is based on the memoir of well-known British journalist Lynn Barber.
–Female director Lone Scherfig.
–Relative newcomer Carey Mulligan [Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House] plays the radiant, book-smart Jenny and indie favorite Peter Sarsgaard plays the older man.

In An Education, Jenny is an extremely focused, brilliant 16-year-old girl who wants to study at Oxford University. She’s sweet and innocent but also intensely inquisitive. Jenny is mature beyond her years due to her intelligence and goals. She wants to remain a virgin until she’s 17. She’s growing up in the 60s, a volatile time throughout the world. She meets David [Sarsgaard], a charming older man [of questionable reputation] who even wins over her parents. When Jenny starts to question the point of women getting degrees [to be stuck in careers that only make them unhappy– she has a bit of a point] and makes a decision that I completely disagreed with, I lost interest in her story. An Education is an affecting film about  first love and scholastic goals coming into conflict with each other and ending rather tragically for young eyes. During the entire film I wasn’t sure that I saw the appeal in David but I definitely saw the appeal in Jenny. And for that Mulligan deserves special recognition and praise. Carey Mulligan turns in a remarkable, illuminating performance.

[PS. Who decided that coming of age stories mean that one lose one’s virginity? That means I did not “come of age” or grow up until I was 23-years-old!]

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