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An Education (2009) Poster

(2009)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (13) | Continuity (12) | Factual errors (4) | Revealing mistakes (4)

Anachronisms 

When Jenny is dropped of at her hours after meeting David for the first time, a satellite dish can be seen on the roof of a house to the far left as she takes her cello form the back seat.
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The school orchestra play an extract from Elgar's 3rd Symphony. This work was left unfinished at the composer's death in 1934 and was not completed and performed until 1998, so unavailable (and unsuitable) for a 1961 school orchestra.
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In the bedroom scene near the airport, there is a picture of a Boeing 747 airliner above the bed. Development of the 747 didn't begin until several years after this movie was set.
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The camera that is used in the Paris scene is a Pentax Spotmatic, it wasn't made until 1964.
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When David has a drink for "Dutch courage" in his car he takes the wrapper off the bottle of wine and then makes another movement like unscrewing the cap. Screw tops weren't found on bottles of wine in the 1960s.
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In the scene where David and Jenny are driving to meet the black family modern cars are visible in the background.
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In the street scene where Jenny meets David for the second time, a number of modern staple-shaped bicycle racks can been seen along the pavement.
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When Jenny finally passes her A levels, she mentions grades. The film is set in 1961 - A level grades were first introduced in 1963. Although,when she's studying at home, it is implied that a significant amount of time passes, it is unlikely to have taken her beyond 1962 when, essentially, you either passed or failed GCE exams.
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St John's, Smith Square, was bombed in 1941; it's restoration didn't commence until 1965 and was completed in 1969. It didn't, therefore, become a concert venue until nearly a decade after the time at which the film was set.
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When Jenny finds the flower basket in front of her house door, network cable can be seen entering the house mounted on the window frame behind hers father left shoulder.
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When the traps open at Walthamstow Dog track, there is an advert for the Racing Post. This paper didn't exist until 20 years later.
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In an early scene when Jenny returns home the camera long shot of the street shows more modern 1970s/1980s light industrial buildings/roofs in the distance.
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In the scene where David is showing the Caribbean family to their new flat, a car can be seen in the background going over a speed hump (or sleeping policeman). These traffic calming measures weren't introduced to the UK until the 1970s.
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Continuity 

David takes a typewriter out of the trunk of his car and sets it on the ground. When Jenny asks him to take her home, the typewriter is gone.
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Danny and David are shown on front seats of the car when Danny tells David that he has seen a For Sale sign. In the next scene the car pulls up to the house for sale and David and Jenny exit from the front doors.
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When David places Jenny's cello in to his car in the rain storm he places it in headstock first from the passenger side, putting the headstock on the driver's side. When they arrive at Jenny's house, she comes to the driver's side and pulls the cello out bottom first. The cello turned 180 degrees during their drive.
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When Jenny was walking home and met David for the first time, she was walking beside the car while he drove. There was a shot of him speaking to her and it showed a dry car, no rain and windshield wipers moving on a dry windshield.
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Towards the end, as Jenny leaves the bus she is taking to visit her teacher, she clearly is carrying nothing, but as she enters the teacher's apartment she is carrying a straw bag.
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When Jenny is taking the bus (apparently to Ms. Stubbs flat) it is night and raining; when she walks into the flat, sun is pouring through the kitchen window and birds are singing. In the next scene, she is riding in a bus at night and in the rain.
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In the dog track parking lot, David takes a few things out of the back of his car and sets them on the ground. Although they are seen there throughout the scene, they are suddenly gone when he and Jenny leave even though he is never seen putting them back.
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At supper in the club, Jenny at one moment points with her cigarette, then it is back to her face in the next shot.
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In the scene where Jenny is showing her parents the book with the fake inscription, her father grabs back the book right after he shows it to his wife, and the camera switches off to Jenny. Then, when it switches back to her father both the book and his glasses are gone.
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In an early scene in which David and Jenny are having a conversation in his car, the lock on the car window behind Peter Sarsgaard keeps changing position.
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When the group are driving to the house outside Oxford Danny and David are sat in the front of car. But when they get out of the car Jenny gets out from the front seat and Danny from the back.
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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.
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Factual errors 

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.
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In the final scene Jenny and her friend can be seen cycling into the Bodleian library courtyard. Bikes are not allowed in the Bodleian and others can be seen chained to the railings outside. There are also 3 steps up to this courtyard which they would not have been able to cycle up.
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When Jenny invites David to the concert, she indicates that the composer is Elgar. David replies, "I'm afraid Elgar and the Jews don't get along". This may imply either Jews don't like Elgar (hard to prove) or that Elgar was anti-Semitic. However there is no evidence of Elgar being anti-semitic, in fact from Elgar's biography - "1933 Flies to Paris to conduct performance of the Violin Concerto with Yehudi Menuhin (with whom he recorded it the previous year); visits the paralyzed Delius; writes of his dismay at Hitler's anti-Semitic policies in Germany;".
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At the end, when Jenny is admitted into Oxford, she receives a letter from the University ("faculty of arts"). In fact, students are admitted into a specific college, and her admission letter would have come from the college, not the university.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Jenny meets David for the first time, it's heavy shower. However, it's obvious on some shots that actually it's sunny, therefore it's raining only "above the car".
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When David leaves Jenny's house after failing to admit his guilt to her parents, you see headlights passing the house twice. Being parked on the curb next to the house, if he truly had to turn around, the headlights would reflect away (not toward) the house.
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During a scene near the beginning of the movie David is drinking from a crystal glass given to him by Helen. A sticker can be seen on the bottom of the glass.
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When Jenny is in her room crying after finding out about David, her father is talking to her behind her room's closed door and says "there's a cup of tea & some Biscuits out here" but if you look closely into the cup it's not tea it's most probably coffee or Chocolate Milk.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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