Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An Education

As the movie An Education began to unfold, I had the uneasy feeling that this was another tale of innocent girl, 16 years old in this film, meets older man who takes advantage of her. While that is in a way true, this is a different tale, and one that should be watched, flinching be damned.

Carey Mulligan, who has received top awards for her portrayal of Jenny, a teenager in the sixties who is trying to do what her beloved teachers and Type A-father are telling her, but she wants to move a bit faster, a bit differently. Trying to bone up on the Latin that will propel her towards Oxford, she by chance meets an older man, far wittier than any schoolboy on a bicycle she's likely to run into in school circles. David is instantly charmed by this very clever girl, one who seems to know a bit about art and music, and offers to introduce her to his two friends, Danny and Helen, and the cultured world. He also introduces her to quite a bit more, and I would be doing you a disservice to explain what or how.

While her father (Alfred Molina) constantly bleats at her that education is the way for a young girl to do better than he did in life -- remembering this is the sixties - he's also giving some mixed messages when he, too, is charmed by David and allows, well, what he shouldn't be allowing. Why Molina hasn't received all the awards actors can accrue is a mystery; as wonderful as Mulligan is, Molina is the character that sets everything up in her young life.

This is really an amazing film, one that shows us that education comes in many ways and on many levels. I highly recommend it. Thumb's up.


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