I have wanted to see this movie for a long time and today, I finally had a chance.
This week is *my* vacation week. So late this morning I noticed that An Education was on one of my movie channels.
I do love Peter Sarsgaard. And the premise of an older man wooing a younger girl, albeit Lolita style (and very illegal), was too good for a romantic like me.
Ironically, my girls find Sarsgaard as the opposite of attractive. He was also in The Orphan and The Skeleton Key, which was the movie I think that made me really adore him.
Nonetheless, this movie gave me everything I wanted and more.
Young Jenny is 16 years old, finishing up high school and striving to get the grades to get her into Oxford. Her dad, brilliant played by Alfred Molina, pushes those grades while her mother sits very quietly.
The year is 1961. Women were not especially, um, LIBERATED? Independent?
So Jenny, once enamored by the extremely charming David (Sarsgaard), finds no meaning in continuing her education, when all she can ever end up being is a boring and dead teacher.
The enchantment by David is extremely romantic. It's what a 16 year old may fantasize at some point in her life: a rich, charming, good-looking man, who 'saves' her from teen-angst and teen-humdrum.
Carey Mulligan, the starlet du jour of late, is absolutely BRILLIANT in her role as Jenny. Beautiful, smart, independent, confrontational...everything that a girl from the 60s was NOT.
I sensed an underlying message...that giving up your goals...especially in a college education, is one of the worst mistakes anyone can do, especially a woman.