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Nov 22, 2009

Fletch's Film Review: An Education

A whip-smart, suburban-dwelling, precocious teenager attending a private high school. A thirtysomething object of affection. Brushes with high culture and monied individuals. A heavy dose of Britain in the 60s.

Is this An Education or Rushmore?

Those similarities (and the presence of Olivia Williams, who once upon a time played Max Fischer's love interest) aside, Education stands on its own as a worthy coming-of-age story, featuring a star-making performance by Carey Mulligan and excellent supporting turns by a hilarious Alfred Molina, the elegant Williams, and Emma Thompson (in an extended cameo).

Mulligan is Jenny, a teen so bored with her current position as a London-suburb-dwelling high school student that she inserts random French phrases into her everyday speaking in order to feel more like an urban Parisian. She listens to French chanteuses and smokes behind her parents' backs.

Then she meets David. Dreamy David, who rescues her out and away from the cold and dreary teenage world into a life of jazz clubs, road trips to gay Par-ee and, despite their vast age difference, poses an immediate threat to her virginity. Jenny is smitten. Her parents are smitten. And David, perhaps not smitten, is having the time of his middle-aged life.

It's hard not to feel a certain contempt for the roads the characters go down, making all the wrong moves for the simple promise of what might be real, but director Lone Scherfig gets us invested in the whys of their motivation and delivers an entertaining look at the lessons some must learn in order to grow up.

Fletch's Film Rating:
"Darn tootin!"
Shaky Cam Rating (details):LAMBScore:
Large Association of Movie BlogsLarge Association of Movie Blogs

2 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: An Education"

elgringo said...

Carey Milligan...head over heels about her.
The movie didn't pack the punch it should have but the performances are top-notch. Alfred Molina was amazing. Peter Saarsgard as well. Glad you got to see this. People are talking about Mulligan taking home a statue. I don't see it but that's only because Precious is so damn good.

The Mad Hatter said...

Nifty review!

Finally saw this on Monday and really dug it...I really hope that Scherfig can get a Best Director nomination out of this.

I don't know if I felt that much contempt for the characters' choices...I was just pretty darned sure they were making big mistakes. What left me more curious was how they dealt with the mistakes.