Monday, February 08, 2010

An Education

Saw An Education with my mom this weekend - we both really enjoyed it. It's based on a memoir by Lynn Barber as her experience as a school girl in England who had a relationship with an older man. The screenplay is written by Nick Hornby, which surprised me at first because I was all, Hornby can't write about a girl. But, he does, and very well!

The main character, Jenny, is 16 and from a working-class neighborhood of London. She's being sent to a private school by her parents, who hope that she'll go to Oxford one day. She's extremely bright and precocious. She manages to end her sentences with n'est pas and be charming, rather than completely obnoxious. Although her parents want the best for her, her life is mostly about studying and it's only when she meets the dashing David that she begins to go to concerts, auctions (where she bids on a painting at David's encouragement) and eventually go to Paris for the weekend. I don't believe I'll ruin it for you by saying that what Jenny begins to question is why she's working so hard on her education, when a degree from Oxford for a young woman in the early 1960s will only either land her either a teaching job or a marriage. I thought the story was really subtle and smart, witty and very thoughtful. Loved the supporting characters, played by Dominic Cooper (hello) and Rosamund Pike.

Carey Mulligan is absolutely etherial as Jenny, and Alfred Molina is terrific as her dad. Peter Sarsgaard used to creep me out, but he's very suave lately. I thought he had a Ewan McGregor/Colin Firth quality in this movie. Costumes were gorgeous, without being costume-y. Awesome soundtrack - introduced me to Juliette Gréco, my what I've been missing!


KHM said...

Oh, it sounds delightful! And quite the departure for Hornby whose work I sometimes really love.

How are you?

Anonymous said...

That's "ethereal".

Special K said...

Oh "Anonymous"! I actually woke up in the middle of the night because I realized I hadn't carefully spell checked. "I wonder," I thought, "If some jerk will find a misspelling and hold it against me."

KHM said...

see? And I just acted like it didn't matter. 'Cuz that's how blogging goes.

Penny said...

It really was a delightful film. And good eye-candy. Good review, Kel, I couldn't have told/sold it any better. Girlfriends, you should go. So glad you had a good reunion with A - take some antacid and eat bland for awhile.
love, ma