An Education

Education

 

When I read that Nick Hornby, a favorite writer of mine, had written the screenplay for An Education, my spirits rose.  Who better, I thought, to translate a coming-of-age memoir about a 16-year-old girl in 1961 London than Hornby, an aging male Baby Boomer like myself?

Yeah, right.

But does Hornby pull it off?  Mostly.  I thought An Education was touching, funny, and with a few exceptions, true.  Is it true to teenage-girl life, circa 1961?  Were parents of teenage girls as naïve as they are in this film?  I have no idea.  I’d have to consult with a group of 16-year-old girls, or girls who were 16 fifty years ago.  What I do know is that the film is witty and the performances are captivating.

Carey Mulligan, as young Jenny, might have lost out on an Oscar this year, but I don’t think there’s much question we’ll be seeing a lot more of her.  An Education is really just soap opera, a morality tale about making bad choices and living with consequences; in other words, it’s a film we’ve seen many times before.  But it’s a story that never grows old because it’s a story that never changes, whether it’s 1961 or 2010.  At least I think so.  I’ll have to consult with some teenage girls.     Grade:  B

 

Director:  Lone Scherfig  Cast:  Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike, Dominic Cooper, Olivia Williams, Cara Seymour, Emma Thompson, Matthew Beard, Sally Hawkins  Release:  2009

 

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