Monday, July 26, 2010

An Educaton (2009)

Stars : Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Olivia Williams, Dominic Cooper, Cara Seymour

Directed By : Lone Scherfig.

Written By : Lynn Barber(memoir)
                      Nick Hornby(Screenplay)

What is education? I guess a wrong question then answer this, Why do we need an education? I feel a lot of answers can be put for both the questions but how often have these questions been asked?. An education is not a documentary on education or its importance but its a story that does gives us something to think about even today  though the movie is set in 1960's.

Jenny(Carey Mulligan) a 16 year old routine 1960's British girl who wants to see french movies, read books, smoke and listen to french music but she has just one hurdle to cross before she does what she dreams about, get into Oxford, fulfill her parents dream. Her father Jack (Alfred Molina), mother Marjorie(Cara Seymour) and teacher Miss Stubbs (Olivia Williams ) all want her to concentrate on her studies so that she can get into Oxford. Enters David (Peter Sarsgaard)a 30 something man with a sports car who meets Jenny on a rainy day and gives her lift to home. David sprays the missing colors in her life, he takes her to places she had only dreamed off and the best part is he is able to convince her parents too. David has never been to a university and he makes living by means not considered legal and Jenny finds this out but she is too much in love with David and her life with him. He even takes her to Paris with the approval of her parents who too are charmed by David as their daughter. Jenny's teacher Miss Stubbs is worried about Jenny drifting away from her goal of Oxford but Jenny sees only the colors David had filled her life with. David proposes to Jenny , Jenny consults her parents who too think that its a good idea, even though Jenny questions them what about Oxford? but still the family agrees to Jenny quitting studies and getting married to David. One night while going out for dinner after engagement Jenny finds out the truth that breaks her heart. David was a married man and Jenny had quit on her dreams for a married man even after being warned  by Miss Stubbs. She is heartbroken and her parents are too. She looks back at what she went through and questions herself, her parents and everything she believed in, but still she re-groups her life and starts her education again with the help of Miss Stubbs and finally gets into Oxford.

An Education is an adaptation of Lynn Barber's memoir with the same name. The story is wonderful and is made even more beautifully. There are various Universities and schools to teach the important lessons but none better and effective as life. This lesson is straight from the library of life and has everything which will make this lesson one to be remembered. The movie is like a beautifully beaded pearl necklace. Each scene is beautifully put and what makes them more special is the performance from the stars.

Carey Mulligan got an Academy Award nomination for best actress in a leading role and very rightfully so. She is one of the reasons of the movie getting the acclaim it has. She is just delightful, her transformation from a school girl to a women who is able to sort her priorities out is good. She is very bright as the teenager in love with her life and is very good in the scenes with her parents. The part where Jenny put her arguments for marriage before her principal and Miss Stubbs is beautifully written, shot and performed. The dialogues I have to say are very well written.

The supporting cast did a very fine job with their parts. Alfred Molina was outstanding as Jack, Jenny's father. He has always been good with such roles but I think one of his better performances. He is brilliant as a conservative father with Jenny, a man who lives a little for her daughters sake and as the father who feels guilty after being made to stand in the box by her own daughter's questions. Peter Sarsgaard as David is charming as needed. Though a small scene but the scene where David has to share the truth with Jenny's parents is a very beautiful one, Jenny's expressions at that moment of wait while David is gathering the courage to face her parents are sober and very natural.

I haven't been through the book so don't know how well the movie has been adapted for big screen but I have to give credit to Nick Hornby for writing a wonderful screenplay which brought him an Academy Award nomination for best adapted screenplay. The movie though during some periods moves a little bit slow but yet it progresses from frame to frame keeping the innocence of the story and Jenny intact. The dialogues are really good and some conversations really put forward questions that teenagers around the globe still want answers for. Director Lone Scherfig has kept the movie very simple and shot it at very local and gorgeous locations which have made the movie more genuine and pleasing. The movie was nominated for three Academy Awards and was screened at 2009 Sundance Film Festival where it gained very high critical acclaim.

The lessons learnt by Jenny at the university of life make this movie really An Education. A very good movie with a simple theme and a marvelous bunch of people who have done a beautiful work.

Plus : A very sweet simple and well made movie.

Minus : Few but should let them go.

Rating : 8.5/10

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