In the early 1960's, sixteen year old Jenny Mellor lives with her parents in the London suburb of Twickenham. On her father's wishes, everything that Jenny does is in the sole pursuit of being accepted into Oxford, as he wants her to have a better life than he. Jenny is bright, pretty, hard working but also naturally gifted. The only problems her father may perceive in her life is her issue with learning Latin, and her dating a boy named Graham, who is nice but socially awkward. Jenny's life changes after she meets David Goldman, a man over twice her age. David goes out of his way to show Jenny and her family that his interest in her is not improper and that he wants solely to expose her to cultural activities which she enjoys. Jenny quickly gets accustomed to the life to which David and his constant companions, Danny and Helen, have shown her, and Jenny and David's relationship does move into becoming a romantic one. However, Jenny slowly learns more about David, and by association ... Written by
Carey Mulligan mentioned in an interview at the Sundance Film Festival that some of the most enjoyable moments of filming were when there were actors who only came in for a day or so, like Sally Hawkins and Emma Thompson, and she particularly enjoyed the four scenes she shot with the latter, whom she described as being "amazing", and called her acting "brilliant". See more »
In the Youth Orchestra scene, the orchestra are playing Elgar's so-called Third Symphony. At the time that the film is set, this Symphony had never been played and simply existed as sketches which were unfinished at Elgar's death. It was not until 1998 that the composer Anthony Payne edited the sketches and enabled the Symphony to be premiered. See more »
While I agree with the other reviewers about the excellence of the acting and the cleverness of the dialogue, I left the theatre feeling how thin so many movies are these days. The plot was straightforward and basically simple. Apart from the wonderful speech from the father at her closed door, there was little development of character or texture to the story. Obviously the Jenny character came up against some painful realizations but she wasn't given much opportunity to develop them. The references to Rachman (remember him?) and John Piper (David's 'friend' mentions that he just bought a painting of his) were a nice touch. It was showing us the incredibly repressive nature of English society just before the Beatles exploded and 'swinging London' emerged.
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