An Education

Posted: 06/23/2010 in films
Tags: , , ,

Last night I watched An Education and it made me very happy.  A coming of age drama where a teenage girl gets mixed up with an older man against the backdrop of 60s London but an education through books and life win out. I like to think of it as an antidote to the Twilight series and wish it could be widely distributed to counter passive Bella syndrome.

Carey Mulligan is amazing as the teen (Jenny) desperate to escape her dull surroundings; hungry for new experiences and culture, daarling! Her paramour David (played by the wolfish Peter Sasgaard) is almost secondary to the life he introduces her to. She follows him down the rabbit hole into a world of restaurants, art and Paris (where it is slightly less gauche to drop French into your conversation). But, those adventures are coupled with deceit and half truths.  She turns a blind eye but can she not have all that and more on her own terms? Jenny’s parents are also suckered into David’s rabbit hole, and you are left wondering who is parenting who by the end. (I really like books and films with bossy children and fallible parents – Roald Dahl’s fault I suppose.)

To spend 90 minutes seeing the world through Jenny’s eyes was a real treat. That unabashed belief that anything is possible. That the whole world is at your feet. It made me feel simultaneously eighteen and thirty-three. I wish I could bottle that cocky, over-confidence of youth.

The story is based on the memoirs of Lyn Barber, a British journalist, and it’s being added to my to-be-read pile. Curious to see how the adaptation compares.


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