....Another Oscar nominated film from late last year that I watched last night. Aside from the plaudits for Carey Mulligan's lead performance, I had not read anything about the film at all.
Directed by Lone Scherfig, (who from research had only directed Danish titles before this), the film follows Jenny, (Carey Mulligan), as an intelligent soon-to-be 17 year old who is destined for Oxford. Stifling parental pressure to succeed and a keeness to explore life outside of such structure, Jenny is willingly swept of her feet by a rich, parent-pleasing older man, David, (Peter Sarsgaard) - who ultimately has darker secrets to be discovered.
It is a lovely film - the title clearly referring to the education in life that Jenny is exposed to throughout the film. Carey Mulligan is incredible as the lead - so easy and natural in front of camera and belying her relative inexperience prior to this role. In fact, the acting throughout was wonderful - Sarsgaard convincing as the slightly inappropriate older man, and Alfred Molina, superb as the pushy but ultimately emotive father.
The screenplay has been written by Nick Hornby, so there is a typically easy connection between the viewer and the characters, and similarly there are some beautifully humorous moments: About to sleep with David for the first time, Jenny states, 'I don't want to lose my virginity to a piece of fruit'.
Set in the ealry 1960s, the wardrobes and sets are fantastic - and a scene at the former Walthamstow Stadium, (RIP), is particularly reminiscent. The direction has a woncerfully patient, perhaps naive pace about it and the grading of the film deliberately reflects the era in which it's set.
An unfussy, yet brilliant film - and more importantly an English one too. Worthy of the Oscar hype and in Carey Mulligan's case, a deserving stepping stone to stardom.