An Education

The screenplay for this movie was written by Nick Hornby who is one of the my favourite authors – he of the ‘About a Boy’ and ‘High Fidelity’ fame. This is a movie ultimately about the coming of age of an extremely bright 16 year old girl, Jenny, in a suburb of London in the early 1960s. There is, for me, a certain creep factor when our main characters meet. I mean who really gets into a car with a complete stranger especially one who is obviously quite a bit older and apparently financially successful (evidenced by the expensive sports car he’s driving).
That aside, Ms. Mulligan who plays Jenny certainly earned her Oscar nomination for this flick. She is tremendous, confident then vulnerable in all the right places. Alfred Molina plays her father who seems solely interested in his daughter’s education but as a true sign of the times, is quite happy to marry her off and abandon all talk of university. David, played by Peter Sarsgaard, is the older, debonair man who seems to be sweeping her off her feet. Jenny is taken to nightclubs, out to wonderful dinners and even to Paris. Meanwhile back at her school, Jenny’s English teacher and headmistress are getting concerned about the behaviour of one of their top pupils. Emma Thompson plays the headmistress in an appropriately hoity toity way always completely in control and drinking tea from a bone china teacup. So perfect. This was the time when young ladies fraternizing with members of the opposite sex was seriously frowned upon and instant dismissal from the school warranted. I won’t go into detail about the story but suffice it to say all is not as it seems.
Jenny certainly comes out of the entire situation with an education, one not offered in mainstream institutions, and not necessarily for the better. You decide.

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