An Education is an enjoyable piece set in the 1960s about a young girl that falls in love with an older man and with his way of life and the lessons she learns from that love. It is a nicely done film with good story and good acting. It is based on the true story of British journalist Lynn Barber’s experiences.
Set in 1960s London, the plot involves a young woman, Jenny, who is pretty and smart. She attends an all girl school where she is the star pupil. She dreams of attending Oxford. Her father pressures her to acquire the necessary bullet points in order to make her application more attractive, such as playing the cello. While returning from orchestra practice one rainy afternoon, Jenny meets an older man named David. He asks her to attend some cultural events and after convincing her parents he is harmless, he begins to show her a new world. A world of money and stimulating experiences and like any young girl she falls in love with the sophisticated man and the lifestyle. However, the more she learns about him and his associates the more she becomes worried about how they make their money and whether they are “good people.” As she and David becomes more involved she must make a choice either to continue to toil and earn her way the hard way, through good grades and “wading through pony stories” as her English professor puts it. Or she can trust that this man will take care of her for the rest of her life? You will have to watch the film to find out. This is an excellent young girl coming of age story that can serve as a warning to girls even now, that we should be wary of men offering to take care of us because what happens if they leave?
I like the fact this movie is set in London, it gave the film a good, almost older feel. The accents made everything more proper which contrasts with the “naughtiness” that goes on. There are no flashy effects or outrageous costumes in this film, but what there is, is some really good acting and a good story that is based on a true story as An Education is actually based on the memoirs of Lynn Barber, which I am planning to pick up and read.
Carey Mulligan plays the main character, Jenny. She does an excellent job and is nominated for an Oscar for this role. She plays this wise yet naïve girl really well. We believe in her character and even as we watch the plot unfold we fear for her and want her to be careful when dealing with this older man. Jenny is a smart girl but she lacks in real world experience, and she still believes that everyone is as they appear to be, and she may be about to learn a tough life lesson. Alfred Molina is Jenny’s father, Jack. He wants his daughter to have a better life than him. If she can get it through hard work at Oxford, he is all for that. But if she can marry rich then he is all for that too. He is confused man and perhaps is not as intelligent as his daughter, and therefore is easily dazzled by this man of the world, David. You leave the story thinking that he should have been more of a father to Jenny and protected her more. David played by Peter Sarsgaard. He is a man of the world. He flies all over Europe, eats at the best restaurants, and goes to all the cultural events. He is just the type of man that a young, smart woman would fall for. He takes advantage of Jenny’s curiosity and her innocence to keep her enraptured. But he is hiding something, and the only question is what? All the acting is well done, which is fortunate because this type of story hinges on the acting and this movie is good because the acting is well done.
I enjoyed this movie. It’s a good story and the movie is well crafted. The acting, especially by Carey Mulligan, is well done. If you enjoy a good romantic story or a good coming of age story then you should enjoy this film.