Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
on 20 May 2011
Strongly recommended. As with many films, merely summarising the plot (about a teenage girl deceived but not ruined by an older fraudulent charmer) does not convey how well it is done.
Carrey Mulligan as the schoolgirl is really excellent. Her seducer is played by Peter Sarsgaard, an American playing a (Jewish) English character. He captures the British accent so perfectly that it is strange to hear him talking in his real accent in the interesting interviews and commentary 'extras'.
How the Scandinavian Director Lone Scherfig manages to 'get' Britain as it was in a very specific time in the very early sixties I do not know, but she does.
The film is set at the moment when the sixties have not yet started to swing, mini skirts and hippies not yet dreamed of, and Britain is mostly still a restrained, serious, post-war kind of place where headmistresses feel it their duty to expel any sixth former who loses her virginity, and 'coloured' immigrants are a new phenomenon. Yet there is a slight hint that many things may soon begin to change.
Good supporting performances from Olivia Williams as an English teacher, (strangely somewhat reminiscent of her previous role as an authority figure in Joss Whedon's science fiction series Dollhouse), Emma Thompson as the headmistress, and Alfred Molina as the young heroine's old-fashioned father.