Review #3 – An Education

I love Nick Hornby. I repeat – I love Nick Hornby.

This love would fall into the “bromance” category. I have deeply enjoyed his other works (High Fidelity, About a Boy, Fever Pitch – the 1997 version with Colin Firth, not the 2004 remake that still marks the darkest points in my personal and professional life) and his screenplays touch the innermost parts of my soul. There is a natural flow to his work, and his take on the ups and downs of a relationship feel as though your part of the Eb and flow yourself. His words draw you in, envelope you in this cocoon of characters written so smoothly, and so genuinely, you feel almost as if he could take and re-write anyone’s life into an amazing tale.

An Education is about Jenny Miller, A middle class girl excelling at an all girls school in the outskirts of London. Her dream, to go to oxford, is within her grasp – until she meets a sophisticated, older gentleman (David, played well by Peter Sarsgaard) who simply dotes on her, drawing into conflict: where does she want her life to go, and where with her two paths lead? To what end is happiness?

Jenny (played by Carey Mulligan) is a confused character, and shows the misleading of her friends, her own doubts of life, and the excitement of being wrapped up in the life of David, her older suitor. Strong willed and smart for her age, she shows well the impressionability of a girl of 16, easily swayed by the money, excitement and energy of those around her. Ms Mulligan played the role well, all be it not to the level of a Best Actress. The feelings I have coming from this newcomer is would could be seeing quite a lot of her in years to come; my only hope is that we will see more success in the near future.

There is a brilliant line in the middle of the film where Jenny and David’s friend Danny are dancing. They are talking about paintings, and Jenny muses that she finds it difficult at times to recognize what is good art and bad art. Danny simply states:

“The thing is Jenny: you know, without necessarily having to explain why. You have taste, that’s not half the battle – that’s the whole war.”

What a way to simply explain greatness; you know it when you see it – you just know. This film may not be great (I qualify great as being Best Picture, or one of the top 25 films of all time) – but it is very, very good. An well worthy of the nominations it has received.


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