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Movie Review: An Education

March 18, 2010

What happens when you have a girl full of potential but is just too in a hurry to face the world? That is what you will learn in the coming-of-age drama called An Education.

Set in beautiful London circa 1961, An Education is based on an autobiographical memoir by Lynn Barber of the same title. Carey Mulligan performed the role of Jenny Miller, a clever, pretty Londoner whose dreams of going to Oxford and making it big in Paris caught her point blank due to her impatience, probably caused by her age and a “distraction”. The movie encapsulates us with the angst and lucidness of being a bold teenager, and the effect of having single-minded parents not only in the present, but also in the 1960’s.

The movie stayed true to the decade where it is set, and the beauty of Paris and contemporary London was perfectly set in the film through its brilliant cinematography. I was quite disappointed with the way the story develops up to the ending. Although the subject of the movie is interesting, the execution was dry and flat. I was hoping that there would be explosive occurrences in the story that will make me watch it again and again. One possible reason is that they are probably trimming and softening the scenes so that the younger viewing public can watch and learn from it.

Although they fell flat in the development of the story, they were successful in delivering the message that this movie dictates to the audience. This is an important film that teenagers should watch to learn about the causes of letting their “angst” and impatience get in the way of their dreams. If I watched this when I was still a nineteen-year-old- impatient schoolgirl, it will probably make a huge impact in how I see things.

The ensemble was effective in all their own little ways specially the lead character played by Carey Mulligan. She encapsulated the perfect teen, and successfully made her audience believe the curiosities and brightness of her character. She really deserves that Oscar nomination she got this year.

Peter Sarsgaard who played the role of David Goldman was a great supporting character to Carey’s role. I almost barfed at some of the scenes just seeing him as the story develops, (I won’t elaborate to avoid spoilers) occasional “How dare you!”’s and “Yuck!”’s at some parts of the film. His eloquence and come hither persona makes him the perfect David Goldman in the film.

Alfred Molina who played the role of Jenny’s father stands out in every scene where he was in the film. You can’t help but hate and love his character just the same.

Overall, although this film maybe weak in some parts, I believe this is still an important film that teenagers and “old” teenagers should watch at least once in their life. A word of caution though, there are scenes that maybe a little sensitive for our younger conservative teens to watch such as the bed scenes (No sex scenes though) and parts wherein the younger actors are smoking.

3 out of 5 popcorn kernels

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