An Education (2009)

An Education is the newest movie by Lone Scherfig, written by Nick Hornby and starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Olivia Williams, Alfred Molina, Cara Seymour, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike and Emma Thompson.

The 60s. Jenny (Cary Mulligan) is an ambitious student, trying her best to get accepted to Oxford, constantly pushed by her father (Alfred Molina). When one day Jenny meets the charming, but much older David (Peter Sarsgaard) the life she wants to achieve with an Oxford education seems to be at her fingertips. David takes her to concerts, to Paris and shows her the big world. But it soon turns out that David is not all he cracked up to be.

An Education is a wonderful movie – especially the cast is perfect. Unfortunately, the last fifteen, twenty minutes of it, turns it all a little sour. But only a little – it’s still very much worth to see this film.


The plot is not really very surprising: I mean, when an older guy picks up a school girl, trouble is brewing. When said guy is involved in all kinds of wonky deals, you know that the shit is about to hit the fan. So, when it turns out that the guy is married (to Sally Hawkins nonetheless!), nobody but Jenny and her family is suprised.

But the cast is so absolutely fantastic that you don’t really care about the surprise anyway. Especially Peter Sarsgaard (who, if there was any justice in the world, would have been famous for quite a while now and who might now finally get the recognition he deserves) and Carey Mulligan (who is so incredibly cute and sweet and amazing that you can’t help but fall a little bit in love with her). But also the supporting cast is great.

Lone Scherfig and Nick Hornby manage to perfectly capture the seduction David offers Jenny and how she grows up through that seduction, as well as the pain that comes with it.

The only thing that I really didn’t like was the ending. So, after Jenny finds out that David is married, she breaks things off with him, resumes her studies and finally makes her way to Oxford. And not only that, as soon as David disappears, the movie becomes a little boring and too long, then comes a voice-over which basically destroys the whole point of the movie: Jenny’s experiences with David are supposed to be an education for her, but in said voice-over Jenny explains that she basically just pretended that it never happened once she had reached Oxford.

People, the point of an education is to learn, not to forget everything that happened. That’s kinda stupid and contraproductive.

Anyway, An Education is a beautiful, sensitive movie with a great cast that is absolutely worth to see, even if you have to endure the ending as well.

2 thoughts on “An Education (2009)

  1. i agree, the ending was a bit too happy-no major harm done-ish. how could she go to oxford anyways, the headmistress didn’t let her repeat her last year at school and do her exams, did she? another school? bit of a gap in the plot…?
    apart from that i liked the movie too, though. alfred molina is awesome.

    • Wasn’t there something about taking the test on her own, if she was properly coached or something? I don’t remember, honestly. But you’re right, this was never really explained.

      Alfred Molina is absolutely brilliant. Did you see Coffee and Cigarettes? Best role ever.

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