An Education is an absorbing film, the tale of a young girl risking her goals and dreams on a chance at love. It?s an insightful look in to a complex relationship; and into the meaning of ones education in life as well as academics. An education was quite enjoyably and smartly written by Scribe Nick Horby, his great talent in capturing the intricacies of relationships on full display, his characters have a great wealth of authenticity. His writing gives a grounded and personable quality to character interactions.
Carey Mulligan depicts Jenny Miller with an incredible amount of class; her performance is a subtle and remarkably intelligent portray of a young girl coming to turns with her own dreams. Her desire for higher education is threatened by the seemingly faithful appearance of Peter Sarsgaard?s David Goldman; an older and extremely charismatic man. He provides her with a touch of the culture and art her text books can only hint at, life becomes full of color and fun in his company. There relationship is predictable complex, the age difference and the strain it puts on her school coming to the foreground.
Peter Sarsgaard makes a wonderfully charming English man, he is perfectly cast as the handsome enchanter come to part the clouds and boredom of jenny life; his character slowly shedding its illusion, showing a more human persona, not a prince but a genuine human being. Alfred Molina steals every single scene he is in, as jenny?s overbearing constantly worrying and fretting father. He is wonderfully concerned with practically everything, ever watchful for his daughter. Despite the great performances from Sarsgaard and Mulligan, it was Molina?s jittery, fretful, yet warm loving father that struck me the most.
Nick Horby?s screen play is very witty; his characters are wonderfully fleshed out, they have a great human felling. The writing is fresh and quite insightful into the mind of a young person trying to understand their path in life. Essentially a coming of age story set in 60s era London; a young girl?s future shaken by a not quite fairytale romance, Jenny receives her education in the world. Taught lessons in real romance, the joy and challenge of love, cultured in the grayness of reality. Jenny grows in her views and begins to challenge her own dreams.
An Education reaches heights on the backs of its actors, the quality of the performances shine and gives an otherwise ordinary film a greater impact. Without the excellence of acting and writing, this film would have wallowed in mediocrity. As it stands, An Education is a seriously well acted piece on the challenges of a young girl, thought provoking and insightful.
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