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An Education 2009

PG-13 CC

Three time Academy Award® Nominated Film. A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age.

Starring:
Carey Mulligan, Olivia Williams
Runtime:
1 hour, 40 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Lone Scherfig
Starring Carey Mulligan, Olivia Williams
Supporting actors Alfred Molina, Cara Seymour, William Melling, Connor Catchpole, Matthew Beard, Peter Sarsgaard, Amanda Fairbank-Hynes, Ellie Kendrick, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike, Nick Sampson, Kate Duchêne, Bel Parker, Emma Thompson, Luis Soto, Olenka Wrzesniewski, Bryony Wadsworth, Ashley Taylor-Rhys
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris Swanson VINE VOICE on February 10, 2010
Format: DVD
Life is hard when you're sixteen and smarter than most of the people around you, especially when those people include your parents. You end up restless and bored much of the time and that, in combination with hormones, can cause you to sometimes do some very, very stupid things.

That's the situation Jenny (Oscar-nominated Carey Mulligan, best known to me from her role as Sally Sparrow), is in in An Education, the Oscar-nominated movie from director Lone Scherfig and writer Nick Hornby (known for such works as About a Boy. Watch it and realize that pudgy little boy grew up to be, oh, quite lovely). She's very much fed up with her life and when she meets an older man, David (played by the always reliable Peter Sarsgaard), who gives her the respect and attention no one else does.

From the start it's pretty clear what David wants from her, and it's quite clear Jenny is at least somewhat aware of this. She seems to be willing to go along with that in return for the gifts, the activities and a chance to be around people who are more "her sort".

David is a charming fellow, even able to get Jenny's parents to accept him and allow her to do things like accompany him to Oxford or Paris. Her father (played by the always reliable Alfred Molina), appears to be completely snowed. Her mother less so, though she's still willing to let her daughter go off with this man in his 30's.

David's charms are somewhat undone when Jenny finds out the various ways he makes a living, which include, but are not limited to, stealing valuable art from old women. Surprisingly, she's willing to go along with this, but eventually finds out something even more dark and unpleasant about David.
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Superb! Wonderful story, excellent acting (unexpected performance from Peter Saarsgard), surprise appearance from Emma Thompson in a supporting role (I am guilty of adoring her - she can do no wrong in my book, even in Harry Potter.)

I typically love English coming of age stories and this is why, they do not disappoint. What a treat - great story telling infused with the credibility of fine acting and accesorized with vistas from the English countryside and Paris.

The lead actress is a better version of Katie Holmes at her age, I think she is headed for great things. She has truly mastered the ability to both play an intellectually superior and tenderly cocky adolescent - most often with facial expression- but equally be a fragile child in the presence of Peter's character. Ah-ha and I just looked her up after writing that, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for this role. :)

This is an enjoyable film for anyone with an interest in the topic.
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An Education is based on Lynn Barber's memoir. Nick Hornby wrote the screenplay. Carey Mulligan is nominated for a Golden Globe for best actress (and many other acting awards). The entire cast is nominated for the Screen Actors Guild award.

The barest of plot details: The film is set outside London in 1962. Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is sixteen, and one of the brightest students at her private girl's school. She wants to go to Oxford to read English literature. She meets a charming, friendly, older man.

This film is perhaps the perfect coming of age story. Yes, I realize what a strong statement that is. Lynn Barber's story is not necessarily unique, yet it is a product of the time she was raised. Still, as someone who came of age in the 1990's United States rather than the 1960's Britain, it could have been my story. It is the perfect coming of age story because this dichotomy between uniqueness and everywoman-ness.

Carey Mulligan is fantastic, but Peter Sarsgaard was mesmerizing. He completely nailed the British accent; I immediately checked [...] to see if he was, in fact, British. The entire cast is amazing, and the casting director deserves kudos as well. Rarely does one see a cast without a weak link. It's easily the best movie I've seen this year, and although there is some hesitation to such a bold statement, it is one of my favorite movies of all time. I'll see how well it stand up with time and multiple viewings, but this one is a modern classic. It's brilliant, moving, funny (Nick Hornby, remember) and immensely watchable and re-watchable. With the Oscars opening Best Picture to ten films this year, this one may have a shot at a nomination, and I hope it does.

Seriously, it's the best movie I saw in 2009.
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Format: DVD
**Spoiler alert**...though the plot really isn't a secret.

The basic plot of An Education is slight, but superb acting and directing lift the story of a schoolgirl's affair into a study of regret, fear and yearning--it's often very funny, sure, but still a little heartbreaking despite the essentially `happy ending.'

Carey Mulligan was rightly praised for her portrayal of Jenny, but I have to say that Peter Sarsgaard is incredible. He's no creepy conman who just wants to seduce a young girl. He wants to actually be her, to take all that freshness and curiosity into himself, to have all that possibility laid out before him. At heart he's all too aware of how badly his life has gone wrong. His business (working for notorious slumlord Peter Rachman) is tawdry, and his marriage and home are shabby. He's deceiving himself as well as Jenny when he spins his dreams and explanations; and he loves to see himself through her eyes--as a worldly, exciting man. Of course he's happy to wait for her to be ready to lose her virginity, of course he's peculiar in bed: sex was never the point. And tie-clipped David can't in reality compete with his more sophisticated and wealthier friend Danny, so he's terrified into rash action when he sees him flirting with Jenny.

Jenny and her mother both know that there's something a little bit wrong with David. Jenny has doubts about David from the moment he makes an asinine, flattering remark to her mother, but puts them aside. If I have one complaint about the movie it's this: to me it's implausible that Jenny would have ditched her A levels, even though I know it's a memoir and she DID ditch her A levels. As played by Mulligan, Jenny is smarter and more perceptive than that.
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