AN EDUCATION (Lone Scherfig)
AN EDUCATION delivers a very promising material- a young girl who meets an older man, gets educated about life in a very different manner, and eventually she learns the importance of a proper education. This is a period piece in which the role of women in society, and education's part in shaping women's lives and aspirations is center stage. It is also filled with imperfect characters whom you will come to love as the story threads on.
Carey Mulligan is adorable as Jenny. She perfectly played the part of a teenager in a crucial crossroads in her life. Peter Sarsgaard is charming and unapologetic for his character; Dominic Cooper is a prick (I meant his character).
Olivia Williams plays Jenny's teacher, and there is a knowing aura in her that credits authority for Jenny's knowledge-hungry and somewhat reckless nature. Emma Thompson has a brief moment but very powerful presence.
Alfred Molina is a real thespian, and he can maintain to be funny even when he's angry.
The story plays out like your usual afternoon soap, but what makes it watchable is the importance of the era being portrayed.
When Jenny makes Sarsgaard and Cooper's characters to be posers, eventually thieves of art pieces and confidence, somehow it mirrors the robbing of Jenny's innocence. In a climactic scene, Jenny accuses Cooper and his girlfriend played by Rosamund Pike, how they could just have stood there and say nothing.
I just didn't like the ending. It was absolutely rushed. Great script by Nick Hornby though.
Carey Mulligan is off to a great start, but in the Oscars race, now I can judge that Gabourey Sidibe (PRECIOUS) fared better. Mulligan would win cutest actress, though.