One of the perks of working in Downtown Chicago is that when good art movies come to town, it’s easy to take an evening and go see them. This past weekend, my wife and I went on a date – dinner and ‘An Education’ with Carey Mulligan.
It was a brilliant film (and a brilliant date).
An Education stars Carey Mulligan as Jenny, a precocious girl coming of age in the early 1960’s. Her parents dedicate all their energy to ensure that she gets a place at Oxford, which they think will be her key to a good life. Jenny spends her days studying nonstop, it’s a boring and stuffy life that she chafes against.
Then she meets an older man who breathes life into her soul and teaches her what she really wants out of life. It’s a period movie taking place during the early 1960’s and it’s very atmospheric. It takes place in a time when Britain itself was changing and just getting ready to take off, just like Jenny’s life.
Carey Mulligan is brilliant as Jenny. Most Anglophiles will recognize her as Sally Sparrow from “Blink” one of the best episodes of the new Doctor Who. There’s also a fantastic supporting cast – Alfred Molina as her father, who though he’s a bit of a dick, means wells for his daughter. Peter Sarsgard is brilliant as the suave conman who seduces Jenny.
It’s based on a true story and was adapted for the screen by Nick Hornby – who’s written lovely novels such as High Fidelity and About a Boy. He’s no stranger to human relationships.
The soundtrack is brilliant. Songs from the era are interspersed with music composed especially for the movie. But it’s not like “The Boat that Rocked – it’s not just your typical 60’s themed songs. No, the song features European style songs from the 60’s from an era slightly before the birth of Rock and Roll. It’s brilliant and you can hear some of the great music in the trailer.
An Education is slowly opening in the major cities and then spreading to the rest of the country as it becomes more successful.
I give An Education 5 out of 5 Union Jacks for being Brilliant. I hear Oscars bells tolling for Carey Mulligan.
Here’s the trailer: