Sunday, November 8, 2009

An Education - Movie Review

An Education (PG-13) 95 minutes A-
A lesson in love, innocence and rich older men (or the miseducation of Jenny)

Starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike, Olivia Williams, Sally Hawkins, Cara Seymour, Matthew Beard and Emma Thompson.

There's a lot of Oscar buzz surrounding Carey Mulligan's performance in this film, and based on what I've seen so far this year (I've yet to see Precious) only Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia has delivered a performance this flawless. Mulligan's portrayal of Jenny, a brainy, 16 year old English schoolgirl who becomes smitten with David (Peter Sarsgaard), a debonair Jewish gentleman twice her age, is both alluring and precise.

Considering that this all takes place in London circa 1961, it's an unusual pairing but not impossible. The history of Catholic/Jewish relations is not something I'm particularly familiar with, but the audience found many of the cultural contrasts hilarious.

The film works on many levels, most striking to me was the believability of Mulligan as a starry eyed 16 year old and the captivating beauty of this adolescent teen as seen through the eyes of David. However, this is not a cliche film in which the girl becomes a woman. Like the title suggests, it's an education, albeit a hard lesson on love and what's important. It's also an excellent example of how people (not just young women) fall in love with an idea, a concept, a lifestyle... and lose themselves in the process.

An Education is well-made, smart and highly recommended- a must see film.


strike said...

An Education is a romantic and dramatic movie about a16 years old girl Jenny, who is smart,attractive and eager to start her adult life. So when urbane newcomer David appears in town ,Jenny senses a rare opportunity to shake things up a bit. Quite interesting movie. I watched this movie with my can also watch An education movie from this link...

Saray said...

I loved reading your review! the movie is still not released here in Spain (it often takes a few months before they do the subtitling...) but now I can not wait to watch it :) As a former Catholic myself with lots of friends who are Jewish I am hoping I will understand all the cultural contrasts implied on the screen.
Will keep reading your blog, it looks good! Greetings from across the pond :)

Curtis said...

Wow. Thank You Saray. I would love to hear what you think of the film after you see it.