An Education (2009)

Directed by Lone Scherfig
Written by Nick Hornby

From start to finish this is one of the best films I have seen this year. The opening credits are great and creative. Each scene is there for a purpose, it gives you a new piece of information each time. The editing makes it flow beautifully, there is never a time when the film is sluggish.

The characters are very strong. They are the story and none is stronger than the lead, Jenny, played so wonderful by Carey Mulligan. Every performance is great though. Alfred Molina as the father of Jenny, Peter Sarsgaard as David, and yes, even Rosamund Pike as Helen in a smaller role. The only drawback I can find is that I wanted to spend more time with the character portrayed by Sally Hawkins. I won’t mention who she plays, but she is on screen probably for less than a minute and I was left wanting more. Would it have added to the film? Maybe, maybe not, but I know that I wanted more, and that’s a good thing. That means that I cared enough about the story and about the characters involved.

Carey Mulligan is so good as Jenny in this. You get the sense that she is Jenny, and there are so few performances, as good as some can be, that this phenomenon happens for me. Jenny is a smart girl, she has a bright future. She has the right people pushing her on, her teachers, her parents. But she meets Mr. Right in David, only to find out that her ideal world may not really exist. She soon learns that no matter what you might “have” all you really have is yourself and your mind and what you do with your life, not who you have or who you spend your life with because sometimes that doesn’t last but you will always be stuck with yourself.

It’s just one of those films that gave me goosebumps for reasons I can’t quite put into words. There were shots, there were lines, there were looks the characters gave that just made this film something special. Oh, and I have a crush on Ms. Mulligan now.

***1/2 – Great

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