Sunday, January 3, 2010

An Education

This film is one of many that came out in 2009 that is set in the 1960's. In this British drama a older man brings excitement into a young girls life. This is a coming-of-age film based on a short essay by the British journalist Lynn Barber published in the literary magazine Granta. The full autobiographical memoir was only published in book form in June 2009 after filming started. This young lady is smart, beautiful and bored to death of her suburban life. Her parents only want her to study and concentrate on getting into Oxford. She sees school as her only way out of her bourgeois surroundings. She is a good girl who is a A student and plays the cello but what she really wants is to smoke, talk about art and live in Paris. Then a debonair older man saves her and her cello from the rain by giving her a ride home. With his good looks, charm and class David (Peter Sarsgaard) courts Jenny (Carey Mulligan) in a gentle and loving manner. She helps him trick her protective parents into letting her go to concerts, jazz clubs, and even Paris. This is the life she has daydreamed about but as she quickly learns the grown up life is not all fun and games. England in 1961 was at a turning point with women going on to university, minorities moving up in the world, music and culture clashing with tradition. Nick Hornby created a screenplay that shows all this in subtle little ways like the old feddy duddy father or the girls teachers. When you compare these characters with David and his friends you can see why Jenny wants to rebel. Even now every girl grows up to be a young women with or without heart break and this story is no different. Director Lone Scherfig lets the film unfold in a way that makes it more then Jenny's story, its a loss of innocence that could happened to any women.

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