Film Review: An Education

I finally saw An Education during Thanksgiving week. I've been waiting to see this since I first heard Carey Mulligan and Rosamund Pike were announced in the cast last year and I've been following this film (much like Precious film) and since this was an independent film with a limited release last October 9th, it didn't expand nationwide till the Friday of November 20th (about the same time Precious expanded, with blockbuster opening of the Twilight Saga: New Moon, and Sandra Bullock's The Blind Side, which I have yet to see). It's interesting that these movies including An Education were all showing at the same day in my local theater, lol. I went to see Precious first (read my review of this incredible film here) and now An Education as I wanted to see the lil' indie-with-better-quality-type of films first before the big studio ones as these films are hard to find in theaters.

Anyways, here's my review of...



Starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Rosamund Pike, Dominic Cooper, Alfred Molina, Olivia Williams, and Emma Thompson


Synopsis
Set in 1960s London, An Education finds Jenny (Mulligan), a teenage girl just waiting to break free from her boring school life and conservative parents. That escape comes from a disarming older gentleman David (Peter Sarsgaard) who takes her out onto the city's club scene and introduces her to his good friend and business partner Danny (Dominic Cooper) and his unintentionally funny girlfriend Helen (Rosamund Pike).


watch the trailer for An Education


[source: Trailer Addict]


Now read my An Education Review:



  
An Education was a fantastic film. The story was very well-written and beautifully crafted on-screen, interestingly enough because it was adapted from a true story from a memoir written by journalist Lynn Barber. The cinematography was impressive and the setting especially the Paris scenes were beautifully shot. Carey Mulligan was radiant and stunningly beautiful in those Paris scenes.

It was very nice to see Carey in a leading role as she pretty much appeared mostly in small, supporting roles as she's still a newcomer in the acting biz. Her first film debut was a small role in the 2005 Oscar nominated film, Pride & Prejudice (one of my all-time favorite films), where she played the fourth sister Kitty Bennet with three older sisters portrayed by the lead Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet, Rosamund Pike (who co-stars again with Carey in this film) as the oldest sister Jane, and Talulah Riley as Mary. It was the first film I've seen and noticed her in. I saw her next on another Jane Austen adaptation, the BBC's Northanger Abbey, where she portrayed another supporting role and a not-so-good-girl character. Then, on Public Enemies with Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Marion Cotillard, she had a very brief (like a few seconds-don't-blink-or-you'll miss her, lol) cameo appearance. And now in An Education, I loved Carey on this one as it was so nice to see her in mostly every scene from beginning to the end of this film. She's so pretty to look at on the big screen (reminds me a bit of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's), not too mention, she looked so cute and adorable with her dimples when she smiles (kinda like the adorable young Shirley Temple, but with no curly hair).
Carey is radiant as a suburban teenager in 1961 London who is curious and clever beyond her years but still rather innocent and impressionable. Although she's a very good student and a dutiful daughter
on track to study at Oxford, she sits alone in her bedroom at night longing to be adult enough to live in Paris on her own, basking in the culture. Carey was impressive in this film, maintaining a beautifully believable balance of these contrasting forces, even as Jenny gets drawn from the sedate and boring life she knows into a glamorous new one. It was nice to see her carry this film on her own.

Dominic Cooper and Rosamund Pike ideally round out Peter Sarsgaard's character David's clique as the wealthy, worldly Danny and his beautiful but clueless girlfriend, Helen. With icy blond looks and a stylish wardrobe of gowns and furs, Helen may appear perfect but she's clueless when Jenny drops French phrases here and there in her speech, and their unlikely friendship provides "An Education" with some comic relief. I must say Rosamund Pike was unintentionally funny in this film and she was pretty good (likewise as Jane Bennet in P&P and as Maggie Greer in Surrogates). I love watching her little scenes with Carey in this film esp. when they were laughing and dancing at a night club with David and Danny. Though I'm definitely see them as their characters' Helen and Jenny, but I can't help but also see them as sisters Jane and Kitty Bennet (from P&P) in the modern world, lol. Also, I noticed something interesting here, which was the song, if I remember it right...probably not...I stand corrected if I'm wrong, lol...("Maybe It's Because I Love You Too Much") they were listening to (as well as Helen & Danny were singing along to) was the same song that Keira Knightley's character Vera Phillips sang in The Edge of Love. I thought that was very cool and interesting connection...not too mention both Carey and Ros co-starred with Keira in P&P movie.
  
Overall, I thought this film was very good, fun, funny, enjoyable, and clever lil' British film. I loved and enjoyed watching it especially to have seen rising P&P stars Carey Mulligan and Rosamund Pike co-starring in the same film again. That alone was worth the wait as well as worth watching for their screen presence, acting, and stylish clothing. Not too mention, the cinematography was stunning, the sets from the 60s were superb (esp. theParis scene), the costumes from that era were beautiful and stylish. The jazzy-oldies-type of music used in the film were exquisite and so fitting from that era (I especially liked the song played prominently on the trailer and the film, “You’ve Got Me Wrapped Around Your Little Finger” from singer Beth Rowley. The chorus and this part of the song were so catchy: When we kiss, It's as if our lips agree...that we were meant to be...When we touch, It's too much...Oh the sparks that fly, Are lighting up the sky...so catchy and beautiful to listen to...you can't help but sing along with the song). The entire cast were great and of course, Carey Mulligan was lovely to watch in this elegant film. I can't wait to see Carey and Keira Knightley reunite in their upcoming film, Never Let Me Go, but that's another film (and too early) to discuss here, lol. Back to An Education, go see it, if you haven't already done so. It's one of those rare gems and one of the best independent films I've seen this year. I highly recommend you see it!


My An Education Film Rating: ! (9.5/10; A)

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