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An Education [Blu-ray]
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Its 1961 and attractive, bright 16-year-old schoolgirl, Jenny (Mulligan) is poised on the brink of womanhood, dreaming of a rarefied, Gauloise-scented existence as she sings along to Juliette Greco in her Twickenham bedroom. Stifled by the tedium of adolescent routine, Jenny cant wait for adult life to begin. Meanwhile, shes a diligent student, excelling in every subject except the Latin that her father is convinced will land her a place at Oxford University where she is dreaming of going. On a rainy day no different to all the others, her suburban life is upended by the arrival of an unsuitable suitor, 30-ish David (Sarsgaard). Urbane and witty, David instantly unseats Jennys stammering schoolboy admirer, Graham (Beard). To her frank amazement, he even manages to charm her conservative parents Jack (Molina) and Marjorie (Seymour) and effortlessly overcomes any instinctive objections to their daughters older, Jewish suitor. Very quickly, David introduces Jenny to a glittering new world of classical concerts and late-night suppers with his attractive friend and business partner, Danny (Cooper) and Dannys girlfriend, the beautiful but vacuous Helen (Pike). David replaces Jennys traditional education with his own version, picking her up from school in his Bristol roadster and whisking her off to art auctions and smoky clubs. Under the pretext of an introduction to C.S. Lewis, David arranges to take Jenny on a weekend jaunt to Oxford with Danny and Helen. Later, using an ingenious mixture of flattery and fibbery, he persuades her parents to allow him to take their only daughter to Paris for her 17th birthday. David suggests that his Aunt Helen will once again act as a chaperone. Jack and Marjorie do not know that Jenny has chosen the date and place to lose her virginity. Paris is all that Jenny imagined it would be, sex with David somewhat less so. On her return to Twickenham, Jennys school friends are thrilled with her newfound sophistication but her headmistress (Thompson) is scandalised and her English teacher Miss Stubbs (Williams) is deeply disappointed that her prize pupil seems determined to throw away her evident gifts and certain chance of higher education. Just as the familys long-held dream of getting their brilliant daughter into Oxford seems within reach, Jenny is tempted by another kind of life. Will David be the making of Jenny or her undoing?
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Top Customer Reviews
The film follows smart, talented and pretty schoolgirl Jenny who thinks she's got life sorted - she'll pass her exams, go to Oxford to study English Literature, and away from her controlling father she will listen to French music, have many cultured friends who she will talk to about very clever things all the time in French, and practice her cello whenever she wants to, etc. But one afternoon after an orchestra rehearsal, standing in a bus stop in the rain, she is offered a lift home by a charming older man (David) and so starts a romance which makes Jenny question the value of her Education.
The film explores many areas which; despite the film being set in the 1960s, are still relevant today. The questions Jenny asks herself about the importance of passing her exams and going to Oxford are echoes of thoughts I (and I'm sure many other teenagers) have had. The contrast between David, his glamorous friends and lifestyle (and whose only education was from the `university of life') and the `boring' life led by Jenny's English teacher and headmistress (both women with good degrees) is obvious, and as the viewer you can understand why Jenny makes her choices. But, the film's conclusion is smart, and without denying the temptation and rewards of the lifestyle David is offering Jenny, it goes on to show just why an education really is important for a young woman.
But, this isn't a film for everybody.Read more ›
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.
The 1961 setting and cast are delectable, with Alfred Molina as Jenny's bumbling father, easily persuaded by the suave Peter Sarsgaard as David, and Olivia Williams as the despairing teacher. Dominic Cooper is perfect as David's side-kick, one of those slimy men who live by their wits and always choose biddable, decorative women. The soundtrack is excellent especially Duffy's Smoke Without Fire. The audience left to the closing credits with her words ringing in their ears: "You're a Liar."
The setting i.e- furniture-clothing-atmosphere and family-value's 100% authentic.
Must admit it brought the memories of that era flooding back of life back in the early sixties.
the lead actor who plays 'David' ( Peter Sarsgaurd ) even had a limited edition 'Bristol' to drive around ( remember the car well, a friend of mine's father worked on them back then, even brought one home, think it was for testing it out , never-the-less, back then it was quite a car !
The story is about a young girl 'Jenny' ( Carey Mulligan ) who's life is all about making the grade for 'Oxford' ....until --she meets 'David' who literally sweeps a then 16-year old off her feet, showing her a side of life she never imagined she'd ever see.
'Jenny' was in a hurry to grow-up . would this man who not only charmed 'Jenny' but her parents too, ruin her future, or was his advances 'real' ??
A well portrayed drama that caught the mood and style of the time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent film. Should be watched by every young girl, and her parents too.Published 1 month ago by Dep
The film's theme on an innocent girl being seduced by an older and supposedly sophisticated man (and as it turns out married and a father) is somewhat predictable. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Steve Wishart
It's amazing, I'll not bore you with a long review, you can Wikipedia it and you'll get the plot.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This isn't a rom-com, and neither is it an intense romantic period drama. But I guess you might call it a chic flick in that it delivers a beautifully involving romantic... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Richard