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An Education (2009)

PG-13 | | Drama | 5 February 2010 (USA)
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A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age.

Director:

Lone Scherfig

Writers:

Lynn Barber (memoir), Nick Hornby (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,476 ( 110)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 36 wins & 93 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carey Mulligan ... Jenny Mellor
Olivia Williams ... Miss Stubbs
Alfred Molina ... Jack Mellor
Cara Seymour ... Marjorie
William Melling William Melling ... Small Boy
Connor Catchpole Connor Catchpole ... Small Boy
Matthew Beard ... Graham
Peter Sarsgaard ... David Goldman
Amanda Fairbank-Hynes Amanda Fairbank-Hynes ... Hattie
Ellie Kendrick ... Tina
Dominic Cooper ... Danny
Rosamund Pike ... Helen
Nick Sampson Nick Sampson ... Auctioneer
Kate Duchêne ... Latin Teacher (as Kate Duchene)
Bel Parker Bel Parker ... Small Girl
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Innocence of the Young.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexual content, and for smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

5 February 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enseñanza de vida See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$159,017, 9 October 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$12,574,715, 2 May 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Helen is often made fun of for being dumb but Rosamund Pike, who played her, actually read English at Oxford University- the same subject and university choice of Jenny. See more »

Goofs

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. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Miss Stubbs: Come on, girls. Anybody?
[pauses]
Miss Stubbs: Anybody else?
[pauses]
Miss Stubbs: Jenny again.
Jenny: Isn't it because Mr. Rochester's blind?
Miss Stubbs: Yes, Jenny.
See more »


Soundtracks

Song of Tonfano
Written by Anthony Mawer
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User Reviews

 
Education is a double entendre well intended, well done...London 1961!
10 April 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

An Education

Take a star high school senior shooting for Oxford, and add a charming man more like thirty who seduces her (and you) with his utterly kind, gentle, clever, and generous nature.

You can guess what follows. And in a way, that's the let down of the whole thing. The idea is a simple one, yet it unfolds so beautifully, with some extraordinary acting, it is quite engrossing. John Peter Sarsgaard as David, the seducer, is totally convincing, even though we know fairly early that something isn't quite what it seems. As events gradually devolve, so does his character, to a final, deflated ending. The heroine, Jenny, swept into the mess, is played with predictable delicacy by Carey Mulligan, and in a surprise she is really a great supporting role, of sorts, for Sarsgaard, even though she is the star.

Part of the appeal of the movie is the period, early 1960s, as England is finally getting out of the huge debts and doldrums of World War II and the swinging 60s are ready to fly (the Beatles are together but not well known). The old fashioned world, conservative and conventional, of Jenny and her family is dismal and yet comfortable, adorned with small worldly decorations. David brings Jenny to modern life, with its jazzy clubs and trips to Paris, and it's hard not to say his version of life is far superior. Oxford, after all, is so old-school.

It's a joy on all these levels. It doesn't quite have the naturalness it always needs, a few are scenes forced, and the plot lacks complexity (not that complexity is needed, but it needs something to layer it up). Most off-putting of all is the overly precocious Jenny, whose speeches to her schoolmistress and her teacher, and to David, sound like literature, not like a real 17 year old struggling to escape a sheltered upbringing. It doesn't ring true, and the movie depends on believability.


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