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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
Made Variety's 2007 list of best unproduced British screenplays. See more »
In the scene where Jenny receives two dictionaries, the top dictionary is still wrapped when her father answers the door to greet David. The scene is continuous, however once David appears near the table with his presents, both dictionaries are now unwrapped on top of each other on the table. See more »
I remember this film getting quite a lot of critical praise when it came out and so I was intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. Of course it got nowhere near being shown in my local cinema and so I waited patiently for it to show on TV. A screenplay by Nick Hornby based on a memoir by Lynn Barber and set in London in the early 1960's it has all the hallmarks of a decent production. You'll be glad to know that I agree with the critics, yes, it's pretty good. There were a couple of points where it could have gone off the rails, but fortunately it stayed on the tracks and we have a fine piece of work.
Jenny Mellor is a bright sixteen year old student whose parents have ambitions for her to study at Oxford University. She is slightly disenchanted with her lot though, and yearns to go out and experience the world while she is still young. By chance she meets David, a man more than twice her age, who recognises something in her and takes her to see the sights. Two friends of his, Danny and Helen come along and Jenny goes to concerts, sees art, dines in fine restaurants and even visits Paris. David does all this with Jenny's parent's permission, he is very persuasive. Of course all is not what it seems and her world is about to take a massive jolt and the many arguments she has made against conformity are about to be tested.
This is a very well made film which features a stand-out performance from Carey Mulligan as Jenny; she was really outstanding in the part. Peter Sarsgaard was suitably suave as David, as was Dominic Cooper as Danny. Both Alfred Molina and Cara Seymour did a good job as Jenny's parents, Jack and Marjorie. Rosamund Pike played the part of the, rather dim, Helen very well and Olivia Williams did a very good job as Jenny's teacher Miss Stubbs. Finally, a mention for Emma Thompson who had a nice cameo as the headmistress.
This film asks a lot of questions about how some parents try to control the lives of their children, although it's not the main point of the story. I really liked the way it was written but I still felt one or two bits could have done with tidying up (I'm sorry, I can't be specific spoilers). Having said that, I did enjoy it very much and I really liked the ending. I would definitely watch it again sometime Recommended.
My Score: 7.6/10
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