More than Books: “An Education”


I must admit that I watched “An Education” yesterday because it was the shortest movie on my list. I know I’m running out of time. Don’t tell me about it because I know it already.

So my take on “An Education” is that I was very impressed. At first I had no idea what this movie was about. I knew that Carey Mulligan who is nominated for an Oscar is Shia Labeouf’s girlfriend. Now she is something more, she is a damn good actress.

This movie starts off with Carey Mulligan as Jenny, a school girl whose father makes her work very hard so she can get into Oxford. She has no hobbies or any fun activities on the agenda because they aren’t important to succeed in the application process for Oxford University. She takes up the cello because her father, Alfred Molina, says it will look good. When she asks to practice cello, he tells her no because that’s her hobby or interest and doesn’t have to be good at it.

The whole movie changes when she accepts a ride from David, a 30 something year old man, played by Henry Sarsgaard. At first, he seems like a creeper and the kind of person parents tell you to avoid. For Jenny, he is a breath of fresh air. She can talk about her love of french movies, songs, art  and what makes it better for her is that none of these conversations involve Latin or studying.

The movie starts to pick up as her grades start to drop and she goes off galavanting with David and his friends, Danny and Helen. How does her extra strict dad let her go? He’s lied to. He’s told they are going to Oxford for the weekend to meet C.S. Lewis when in reality they are going to party and what not. David even signs a copy of “Lion Witch and & the Wardrobe”.  This is only the start of lies and the life of partying, smoking and getting dressed up. David and his friends kinda reminded me of the Buchanans from ” The Great Gastby”.

A particular area that I loved in the movie was when Jenny goes to Paris with all of them. First off, I’ve never been to Paris and on screen, it looked liked beautiful. Also part of those scenes in Paris that I loved that the scenes were linked with the transition of a camera lens clicking. The camera lens clicking mimicks the pictures David takes of Jenny.

“An Education” is about a school girl’s education and her road to go to Oxford. It it also however, about an education of life.  She learns that David isn’t who seems to be, she learns of sex and love, she learns of heartbreak, she learns about who she can trust. She learns that the world is a complicated world and by the end of the movie she’s only 17. “You seem to be old and wise.” “I am old, but not wise.” Jenny has done a lot of foolish things. She was being a human being that was in love. She got ahead of herself which she realizes she thought she had freedom with her new rich, but fake friends.

Mulligan is deserving of her nomination. She had great lines in the movie and delivered them so beautifully especially when talking to the headmistress who is played by Emma Thompson and her school teacher, Mrs. Stubbs.

I love the last line spoken in the movie, but I won’t spoil it. I hate for you to cheat through “An Education”.

Oscar Nominations:

1. Best Supporting Female Actor: Carey Mulligan

2. Best Picture

3. Best Screenplay:  Nick Hornby

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