Movie Review: An Education

Thursday, October 08, 2009
By Abbey Khan


It’s the 1960’s and Oxford bound Jenny (Carey Mulligan) gets An Education outside the classroom when she meets David (Peter Sarsgaard), a charming older suitor. David introduces 16-year-old Jenny to a life she only dreamed of– smoky clubs, art auctions, expensive dinners and trips to Paris. But her fabulous new lifestyle is affecting her schoolwork, much to the dismay of her teacher, Miss Stubbs (Olivia Williams). Now Jenny must decide whether she will allow herself to be seduced by the good life or continue higher education.

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Recommendation: B-
The performances are solid but the story is not. The characters are glossed over and underdeveloped as we only see them on a superficial level. This film could have been better served if it touched a little more on the circumstances in England during that era, and Jenny’s relationships with the main characters, her parents, and her teacher Miss Stubbs. Although Emma Thompson did not have much screen time, her role as the headmistress stands out the most. Still, Carey Mulligan has some of the best written lines in the movie, such as, “The life I want, there’s no shortcut” and “I feel old, but not very wise.”

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An Education is a Sony Pictures Classics release and opens in select theaters on October 9, 2009.

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