An Education (2009)
Directed by Lone Scherfig
Screenplay by Nick Hornby & Based on An Education by Lynn Barber
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike, Dominic Cooper, Olivia Williams, Emma Thompson
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age.
This is my first Blind Spot review of 2016 (you can see all 12 of my Blind Spot choices HERE). I’m even managing to do this in January! Maybe I can aim to do these on the last Monday of every month. Maybe. I did start with the “easiest” watch, though (I’ll have to work up the nerve for things like Battle Royale). This movie was pretty good. Nothing too memorable but a solid film all around with Carey Mulligan in a star-making role.
There were two main reasons I’ve been meaning to watch this movie: Nick Hornby & Carey Mulligan. I like Nick Hornby’s books (High Fidelity being the best) so I was interested in this as he adapted the screenplay, which earned him an Oscar nomination. I also should really try to watch Brooklyn now since he’s again nominated for the adapted screenplay Oscar for that as well. Anyway, An Education is a well-written film (I suppose credit also goes to the novel’s author, Lynn Barber) with a good story and a strong young central character played convincingly by Carey Mulligan (which also earned her a best actress Oscar nomination). Oh, and the film itself was also nominated for Best Picture that year so it was up for three big awards and I’d say it deserved each of those nominations.
I first noticed Carey Mulligan in the absolutely fantastic Doctor Who episode Blink, in which she carried the whole show. I think this was back when they decided they’d have one episode each season which wouldn’t really feature The Doctor? They should do that again since Blink was a million times better than Doctor Who now – I don’t even watch it anymore. 😦
This photo is from Doctor Who, not An Education. Although it would’ve been cool to have some Weeping Angels in this movie…
Anyway! I’m assuming that role may be what got her noticed as An Education wasn’t long after that? I have to say I’ve been disappointed with some of her roles since (especially in The Great Gatsby) but I don’t know if some of that has been a fault with those scripts. She’s perfect in An Education, though, and utterly believable as a 16/17-year-old girl in 1960’s London. It looks like she was about 23 when she filmed it but I had to look into it as I did wonder if she was actually only a teenager at the time – it did seem like she could be (she doesn’t look like the thirtysomething cast of Grease!).
This isn’t a big flashy film and it’s not one that everyone would necessarily go for but it’s a good “Sunday afternoon” watch. Which sounds kind of insulting but I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’m also doing my best to not call this film “nice” as that word annoys the hell out of my husband. But, well, that’s how I feel about this one! So I’ve looked up “nice” at thesaurus.com:
An Education is “admirable, amiable, approved, attractive, becoming, charming, commendable, considerate, copacetic, cordial, courteous, decorous, delightful, ducky, fair, favorable, fine and dandy, friendly, genial, gentle, good, gracious, helpful, ingratiating, inviting, kind, kindly, lovely, nifty, obliging, okay, peachy, pleasant, pleasurable, polite, prepossessing, seemly, simpatico, superior, swell, unpresumptuous, welcome, well-mannered, winning, winsome”.
HA! I like “ducky”. This movie is ducky!
1960’s London (and also Paris) is a great time period & setting so I really enjoyed that. And Mulligan was adorable in that dress in the movie’s poster! The story, although slightly less relevant nowadays, is one I’d like to have my daughter watch when she’s the same sort of age as Mulligan’s character. Basically, the story is about Mulligan falling for a charming older man and how she’s willing to give up everything for him (mainly, her education – she’s a smart girl who plans to go to Oxford University).
I guess the only complaint I’d have about this film is that I hated Peter Sarsgaard’s smarmy character. I honestly don’t know if that was the point, though, or if that’s just how he happened to come across? I was thinking “how could she fall for this idiot?” but maybe the whole point is that a 16-year-old girl doesn’t know any better? He actually gave me the creeps. It just kind of sucked as I felt he let the film down and I wonder if I’d have liked it a bit more with a different actor. He just seemed so “wrong” while Mulligan felt so “right”. That’s my only real complaint, though. Overall, I enjoyed An Education although it’s not really something that would become a favorite or anything like that. It’s worth watching just once if you think you’d like it. It’s ducky!
My Rating: 7/10
Interesting review 🙂 Got me wanting to watch this as well!
Thanks! It’s certainly one worth watching if you’re interested. Mulligan is great in it. 🙂
Huge Mulligan fan 🙂
Really had no interest in this one, but it doesn’t sound too bad.
It’s not too bad! Worth watching for Mulligan at the very least – she’s great in it. And I loved the setting. 🙂
Love the review. I think I probably would give it a similar score. I haven’t seen it since it first came out but I do remember liking it. It just hasn’t stuck with me though.
Thanks! Yeah… It’s really one of those movies that’s worth watching once but you don’t really need to see it a second time. Good performances. Just ducky! 🙂
I can’t even wait to see this!!!
Whaaaaat?!?! But I was totally going to recommend this to you!
I’d rather rip out my own heart and eat it than watch this thing : )
Ohhh! I’d rather watch you do that than watch this again!
Maybe one day we’ll do another drunk trivia and do just that : )
YES!!!! I’d SO watch that! 🙂
Really ducky review! 🙂 Absolutely love this film, but I sincerely hate Sarsgaard’s smarmy character as well. Carey Mulligan does such a good job at portraying a very steep transition from girl to woman in this. She is glorious.
Thanks, Anna! Lol – his character really is a smarmy creep… 😉 Mulligan is so perfect in this – I’m glad the role got her noticed. She’s so believable as a 16-year-old at the beginning then again as a much more grown-up young woman at the end.
wasnt much of a fan
Why not?! 😉
Great review, this is still one I need to see as I do love Carey Mulligan.
Thanks, Vinnie! Oh – if you’re a Mulligan fan, this is the one you definitely need to see. 🙂
Its being added to my list now.
It’s so interesting reading your thoughts on Peter Sarsgaard’s character! I haven’t seen this yet (I will do soon) but I’ve seen 2 movies that Sarsgaard was in recently and I thought he came across as smarmy and unlikable. It must be his trait!
Lol! I’m glad that two people agree with me so far – I was worried that I was being too harsh. 😉 Now I’m thinking I should watch more films he’s been in & see if I think that of him in everything! I hope you enjoy this one – it’s a good film & Mulligan is great. 🙂
Winsome would also have been a good description 😉
Yes! That too. Duckily winsome! Winsomely ducky? Er… It’s still also just quite “nice”. 😉
Your review is spot on! I agree with you in everything and according to my IMDb, I also gave it 7/10.
Thanks! Yeah, I was hoping it would end up with a higher rating but it’s definitely a solid 7. Good movie with a great performance. Was worth being a part of the Blind Spot thing, at least. 🙂
This is a totally prepossessing review of a film that seems, hmm . . . let’s see, what to choose from from the Word Buffet — totally copacetic.
Ha! Thanks, Tom! I need a dictionary handy when chatting with you… 😉
Ducky just reminds me of Pretty in Pink! haha. Yes this movie was okay I agree it was nice. Who wants to be called nice? If you like Nick Hornby you might as well see Brooklyn. For me that movie was okay and nice too. 🙂
Yes! I KNEW someone would mention Pretty In Pink (I figured it might be you). 😉 Yeah – I’m going to probably end up seeing most all of the Best Picture nominees now other than Bridge of Spies & Brooklyn so now I’m really annoyed that I missed out on Brooklyn!
HAHA you know you can count on me to understand any 80’s reference. Love it!
That’s why you’re my FAVORITE! 😉
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