Friday, April 16, 2010

AN EDUCATION

Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Dominic Cooper,
Olivia Williams, Emma Thompson, Rosamund Pike




An honest coming of age picture that shows us the true value of a good education. It is set in the early 1960s in a London suburb called Twickenham. 16 year old Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan) lives with her parents whose main concern is for Jenny to be accepted into Oxford.

Jenny is pretty smart. She is a conscientious student with good grades. Yet at the same time, she is perky and frivolous. She likes to pepper her conversation with French phrases, dreams of living in Paris to escape her boring life in dreary U.K.
But her life changes after she meets David Goldman (Peter Sarsgaard), a man over twice her age. He exposes her to cultural activities like concerts and art shows. Something she truly enjoys yet avoids just to cater to her parents wishes. As she gets romantically involved with David and his fascinating lifestyle, Jenny has to decide whether it is better to abandon her plans of higher eduction at Oxford. That is until a conflict pops up and Jenny has to face the consequences of her decision.

Since it is set in an era where women don't have many options even if she acquires higher knowledge, it was interesting for me to note the reaction of Jenny's parents as she mulls about her plans. They kept pushing her to excel so she would be accepted to Oxford then suddenly they change their minds when a potential husband material shows up in the form of the charming David.

Carey Mulligan is a delight to watch. Her acting style is refreshing. Her portrayal of Jenny was appropriate. She had enough facial expressions to convey different emotions but she was also able to restrain herself from overtly hysterical reactions.
The rest of the cast are portrayed by known character actors (Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Emma Thompson) who all contribute to the essence of the film.

A simple yet significant movie about the choices we make in life and the appropriate consequences of our decisions!

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