In the early 1960's, sixteen-year-old Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan) lives with her parents in the London suburb of Twickenham. On her father Jack's (Alfred Molina'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 him. 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 (Matthew Beard), who is nice, but socially awkward. Jenny's life changes after she meets David Goldman (Peter Sarsgaard), 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 (Dominic Cooper) and Helen (Rosamund Pike), have shown her, and Jenny and David's ...Written by
The creative team were initially worried about casting the 22-year-old Carey Mulligan in the role of a 16-year-old, but were convinced by her screentest. Rosamund Pike reportedly really wanted the small part of Helen, because "no one ever lets me be funny." See more »
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. See more »
The book, from which this film was made, is supposed to be autobiographical. However, reports in both the book and the film about the school are inaccurate. The headmistress would not have said that if the girl got married she wouldn't need to go to Oxford. It was expected that all the girls would go to university, and it was said that a good education was a benefit even if the girls got married. I do not believe any girl would have spoken to the headmistress in the way 'Jenny' did in the film. It is inconceivable that any girl could have been on such familiar terms with her. In the film, the headmistress reminds Jenny about 'the Jews killing Our Lord'. The headmistress would never have said that. Apart from legally compulsory Christian assembly, religion played virtually no part in the school. Unfortunately, this fictional line has been used in these reviews as an illustration of supposed widespread 'anti-semitism', for which I saw no evidence at the time. Unfortunately the headmistress is no longer alive so cannot correct this. It is not acceptable to make a film about real events and then make things up. It shows the folly of taking feature films as any representation of historical fact, though unfortunately English schools do so.
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