An Education isn't particularly mysterious. It isn't one of those movies that has you trying to guess every twist and turn. It's just also not the formulaic period piece romance I expected it to be. And this is both the second and third way it threw my expectations back in my face: An Education is neither the average, replaceable rom-com that are a dime a dozen these days ("romantic movies" are even used to define the idiom), nor is it what I would consider the next generic alternative based on its title (the supposedly worldly but generally ignorant "I can show you the world" movie). The film seduces the audience into thinking they're watching a sophisticated critique of the educational system when really the critique is precisely of that jaded attitude. In short, An Education is not only very well made, but it is a refreshingly original movie (yes, okay, I know it's based on a memoir, but you know what I mean). If you haven't fallen in love with Carey Mulligan yet and are looking for a unique romantic drama then definitely give this one a try.
- The one issue I had with the movie is the age difference between Mulligan and Sarsgaard. I realize that's part of the point and that the age of consent is different in the UK than in the US, but it still made me vaguely uncomfortable.
- One of the most heartwarming aspects of the film is Jenny's parents. Alfred Molina especially does an amazing job portraying the divided nature all parents with children in school must feel.
- My favorite sort of tangential point the movie makes is in what David does for money (minor spoilers). He helps colored folks move into apartments near old racist ladies who then cheaply sell their apartments to him. Fantastic.
(Phenomenal romantic drama barely contained by its genre)