Providing the text-book example for any agitated parent in need of an aid for their rehearsed “don’t talk to strangers” speech, the complex and life changing results for 16 year-old Jenny (acted by Carey Mulligan), after jumping into an older man’s car on her way home on a rainy day, will surely be of use.
More than just a case of chalkboards and net-ball practice, An Education is a poignant story that will give all that it receives. Set in 1961, on the outbreak of Britain’s swinging-sixties, the story follows a 16 year-old Oxford dreamer, who suddenly becomes caught up in a moral tug-of-war between two very different ways of living and two very different definitions of an “education”. Learning the value in books above covers, her moving transformation is something that many can draw emotional connections from.
Enthralling from the onset, the dangers of cultural experimentation and teenage impulsion is, you’ll find, somewhat reflective of this day and age, as it was equally for 60’s. Praising the value of experience gained from wisdom living beyond one’s years, An Education, based on the memoirs of Lynn Barber, is full up to the brim with wise words on love, loss and not drinking the champagne before you’ve first understood its after effects.
Tremendous performances by some of Britain’s current crà¨me de le crà¨me of cinema can be found within An Education. Peter Sarsgaard as Jenny’s much older chameleon-like suitor David is well cast. Similar accolades can be said for Mamma Mia!‘s Dominic Cooper who takes on the role of David’s partner Danny, and Emma Thompson as Jenny’s headmistress. But there is no forgetting the actress, who has come along way from her role as Kitty in Pride and Prejudice, Carey Mulligan. She plays her part smart and mature even if her character doesn’t necessarily always do the smart or mature thing. Undoubtedly, this upcoming starlet has ‘Oscar’ as her middle name.
Wise, witty and wonderfully intelligent, the screenplay by Nick Hornby is a credit to all involved — only elevated by a cracking score that positively screams sophistication and speaks to all of the dangerous levels of excitement. This movie that reaches beyond it’s time is a sure fire hit, and is destined to be an unmistakable classic.
If An Education doesn’t keep you awake in class, I don’t know what will.