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4.2 out of 5 stars
156
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 12 June 2017
so we can guess, a bit what might happen, but it still has some good twists in it. The period clothing and setting, cars etc are good, I enjoyed the film....... and I am so glad she still got to go to Oxford. Not an easy feat then, not even that easy now.
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on 18 August 2017
Basically it's an immoral story
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on 23 May 2017
Very well made film, with an important message. Excellent casting too.
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on 11 January 2017
brilliant!
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on 13 April 2017
I enjoyed this film. The acting was superb, clearly by Peter Sarsgaard and Carey Mulligan but I was particularly taken by Alfred Molina as Jack and Rosamund Pike as Helen, I loved the dishonesty of pretty much everybody and the difference painted between Jenny's innocent dishonesty and naivety, and the knowing dishonesty of pretty much all of the adults with the possible exception of Miss Stubbs.

The plot on the other hand, was thoroughly sordid. While Jenny was not under age, she easily could have been. It would have been nice to see someone with a moral compass of some kind or failing that, for there to be some proper consequences.
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on 27 November 2015
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 coming-of-age tale centring on a bright, pretty, teenage girl given the opportunity escape mundane suburbia. All we do is follow her adventure and it's quietly gripping all the way. Proper story-telling.

One of the great pleasures here is how convincingly this film depicts period. As a re-staging of a slice of Britain in the early 60s, it never strikes a false-note. For once, they don't just place the onus on production design to achieve this. Nick Hornby's screen adaptation of a Lynn Barber story, is spot-on in it's period mentality. The sense of time and place, feels absolutely authentic because the characters are so convincingly embedded within the setting. Although tastefully designed contemporary cinema, the vibe generated never feels like another 'retro' style concoction. An important point to get right in this story about life on the cusp-of-change wherein the central protagonist's personal situation has a sub-text in that of the cultural sea-change just about to happen: an attitudinal revolution coming soon, nation-wide.

The cast is uniformly superb. I picked this title up because I saw Alfred Molina was in it. Always a good sign. But in particular, kudos due to Peter Sarsgaard for pulling-off such a tricky, layered character in a performance of subtlety and understated finesse. Actually every player in the piece seems pitch-perfect. No doubt a testament to the direction of Lone Scherfig whose judgement and craftsmanship are apparently impeccable. Not a Brit and yet she's nailed us.

What a pro. Check-out the deleted scenes to see if you can spot any superfluous material shot. They all seem utterly sound and relevant. Can't really see what the film gains by losing them, personally. They would add a little to length, but only a bit (not enough to make it seem over-long) and each serves the story well. Evidently, Ms. Scherfig was obliged to truncate the ending somewhat --which she's done so skilfully that you are never conscious of it as a viewer. What you don't know you don't miss and it can't be denied that a slightly tighter film emerges. But even so, the deleted scenes don't feel like fat and are well-worth watching. The edit's a really tough call perfectly judged, I'd say.

What we have here is the epitome of the sort of thing we hope to find in a production by BBC Films. Not always delivered, but always welcome. Sometimes they're nice but a bit ordinary. Sometimes worthy but a bit dull in patches. A bit over-polished at times, maybe. Well this one is certainly polished: it isn't the least bit dull. It's not heavy; it's not light. As for worthiness, it's an intelligent, truthful and grown-up romantic entertainment --one that scores high on viewing pleasure in all respects. In short, this may be relatively small stuff by Hollywood chic-flick standards but it satisfies in spades. A very, very classy piece of film-fun.

Given the film's modest scale I was going to give this four stars to indicate it's not a stonking hit experience. You know --a solid goodie but not major. However, according to Amazon's rating system, four would mean I merely liked An Education. Truth is, I loved it and will watch it again at some point, I'm sure. I've seen movies I loved more --but not much (and so what anyway?).

Ladies, buy with confidence.

Gents, a bit suspicious of another seemingly ordinary romance? If you don't give this one a go you'll miss-out. Not least on the opportunity to spend time in the company of two of our loveliest screen lovelies: Carey Mulligan and Rosamund Pike. Corkers in their 60s togs. As they say in Lollywood: Outstanding!
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'SOMETIMES YOU CAN BE IN TOO MUCH OF A HURRY TO GROW-UP'
I thought this film was 'outstanding'
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.
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on 10 July 2017
Some reviewers are critical of the morality of the story, but it's based on the writer Lynn Barber's book which describes her ''affair'' at 16 year's old with an older man. It didn't end well and she learned from it. Films based on real events are often lesson for us.
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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. It is still enjoyable on repeat viewing.

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 English 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, in realising Nick Hornby's script, 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.

The Casting Director Lucy Bevan as usual does a good job in finding a cast who are right for their roles.

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.

Rosamund Pike is good as a worldly but intellectually incurious young woman whose character offers the heroine an apparently attractive example of how her life might be if she abandons academic and conventional career ambitions, and enjoys living off of her boyfriend’s money without thinking about the legality and morality of where it comes from.

Sally Hawkins, playing a wife and mother, is good in the one brief scene she has with the heroine near the end. It is worth watching the longer version of that scene in the DVD extras; ditto the other deleted scenes including the extended final scene in Oxford.

The full length commentary on the film by the Director and the two principal actors Carey Mulligan and Peter Saarsgard is quite interesting, but on the DVD is slightly hidden away in the ‘Set Up’ menu, so some viewers may not realise it is there.

Good song over the end credits by the Welsh singer ‘Duffy’, who at the time this film was made was only just becoming widely known.
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on 24 February 2015
Very good performances here that keep this movie well on the safe side of the cringe-inducing melodrama it could have been. And credit the writing to some extent too, for Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is clearly intelligent and widely-read, and Mulligan plays her credibly as having the kind of confidence that such a person can have -- clearly the brightest 16-year-old in her school -- while at the same time being immature enough to think that there is a cost in "fun" for the work she has to do to try to get a place at Oxford. Mulligan conveys all this without making Jenny an unattractive and snobby little twit. This was her first major role in a movie (at age 23), and she is totally credible. Likewise, the script makes her older love-interest, David (Peter Sarsgaard), more than just a creepy older guy. He's intelligent enough to play credibly on Jenny's intelligence, and in a fascinating twist, he plays too on the insecurities of Jenny's parents to the degree that he actually gets their approval for his relationship with her. His interest is certainly sexual, but not just that, and as the movie goes on it becomes clear that his creepiness extends beyond his treatment of Jenny (which is never hostile or ugly). In the interest of avoiding spoilers, I'll say no more about that.

A very good supporting cast also must be credited. Emma Thompson has a shocking little cameo as Jenny's headmistress, Olivia Williams is marvelous as Jenny's English teacher, who looks like a certain kind of stereotype but isn't. Albert Molina is good as Jenny's insecure dad, and most striking of all, perhaps, Rosamond Pike plays it perfectly as a beautiful airhead, part of whose function is to show by contrast Jenny's relative, if immature, substantiality. Pike has my favorite line in the movie: "In fifty years, nobody will be speaking Latin. Even the Latins won't." That's not an exact quotation, but you get the point. Mulligan's expression on being told this (and Pike's in the telling of it) is perfect.

I thought that the movie could have been better in two respects. First, the way the plot is resolved is perfunctory to the point that it's a bit unbelievable that Jenny couldn't have discovered what she did much earlier. That's not a big deal, though. More seriously, I don't think the movie does enough to connect Jenny's experiences and choices to their historical moment -- the early 1960's in London -- and let us see her sense of the kinds of freedom that were perhaps not available to her parents as belonging to that particular time. Her dad's insecurities (and her mother's too) come from the cultural situation being new to them -- so new, in fact, that it can seem reasonable for them, and even Jenny, to believe at times that an excellent university education isn't likely to be important for a woman's life. The movie does suggest that the lives of the educated women who teach Jenny aren't immediately obviously attractive to Jenny, but the wider cultural moment is suggested only by the contrast between the rather cramped suburban home of Jenny's parents and more spacious environments that David and his friends occupy -- and that's not really specific enough. The Teddy Boys of her dad's fears are really 1950's phenomena, and the single mention of the crooked real estate mogul Peter Rachman is unlikely to resonate with anyone under sixty. These reservations really are matters of what didn't get into the writing. In most other respects -- direction, acting, the writing of the characters, the camera work -- it's a fine little movie about a smart girl growing up and learning from her mistakes.
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