June 19, 2010

An Education

Carey Mulligan plays a curious young woman growing up in Britain who falls in love with a man some ten years older than her (Peter Sarsgaard). She sees him as sophisticated and lavish and fun. But his carefree lifestyle comes at a high price. The title, An Education, serves as both a candid synopsis of this movie's plot as well as a nod to English novels of old that purported to teach women how to behave, what to think, and how to live. This movie asks the question: why do we teach our young people (particularly women) the things we teach them? What kinds of ideals do we hand down to them and with what expectations? Mulligan's character confronts these questions herself and lives through them in a poignant and intelligent movie with a heart like its heroine: equal parts soft, tough, naive, witty, stubborn, vulnerable, and resilient. With Olivia Williams, Alfred Molina, Cara Seymour, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike, and Emma Thompson. Directed by Lone Scherfig.

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