An Education (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

An Education (2009)



Critic Consensus: Though the latter part of the film may not appeal to all, An Education is a charming coming-of-age tale powered by the strength of relative newcomer Carey Mulligan's standout performance.

Movie Info

It's 1961 and attractive, bright 16-year-old schoolgirl, Jenny is poised on the brink of womanhood. Stifled by the tedium of adolescent routine, Jenny can't wait for adult life to begin. One rainy day, her suburban life is upended by the arrival of an unsuitable suitor, 30- ish David. Urbane and witty, David introduces Jenny to a glittering new world of classical concerts and late-night suppers. Just as the family's long-held dream of getting their brilliant daughter into Oxford seems within reach, Jenny is tempted by another kind of life. Will David be the making of Jenny or her undoing?more
Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic material involving sexual content, and for smoking)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Nick Hornby
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 30, 2010
Box Office: $12.5M
Sony Classics - Official Site


Emma Thompson
as Headmistress
Olivia Williams
as Miss Stubbs
Cara Seymour
as Marjorie
William Melling
as Small Boy
Nick Sampson
as Auctioneer
Kate Duchene
as Latin Teacher
Bel Parker
as Small Girl
Luis Soto
as Rachman
Olenka Wrzesniewski
as Shakespeare Girl
Bryony Wadsworth
as Shakespeare Girl
Ashley Taylor-Rhys
as Petrol Attendant
James Norton
as Student
Beth Rowley
as Nightclub Singer
Ben Castle
as Nightclub Band Membe...
Mark Edwards
as Nightclub Band Membe...
Tom Rees-Roberts
as Nightclub Band Membe...
Arnie Somogyi
as Nightclub Band Membe...
Paul Wilkinson
as Nightclub Band Membe...
Phil Wilkinson
as Nightclub Band Membe...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for An Education

Critic Reviews for An Education

All Critics (182) | Top Critics (38)

You may think you know where the film is going, but its ecstasy and heartbreak will stick with you afterward. It's one of the year's best.

Full Review… | December 15, 2009
Associated Press
Top Critic

Carey Mulligan announces herself as a major name to watch.

Full Review… | January 26, 2014

An Education deserves high marks. You could argue that the central relationship ought to seem sleazier, but Danish director Lone Scherfig perfectly captures the era's look and mood, Hornby's Oscar-nominated script is deft and the performances are spot on

Full Review… | August 2, 2012
Movie Talk

'An Education' is an knowing, affectionate portrait of a man who was surely the best and worst thing that ever happened to a girl who probably should have known better.

Full Review… | May 25, 2012

Nick Hornby's screenplay is funny and sweet and 1000 percent English in that catnip-to-American-audiences way he's so good at already.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

Mulligan possesses Audrey Hepburn-like radiance, but the 22-year-old actress looks so young, it's hard to perceive David as anything but creepy.

Full Review… | January 31, 2011

Audience Reviews for An Education

A charming, provocative and, above all, mature coming-of-age drama with a simple yet morally complex story that never gives in to easy solutions - and, while the cast is wonderful, it is Carey Mulligan who definitely shines in a remarkable performance.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

One of the weakest Best Picture nominees in recent memory - though it's no Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - An Education tells of a hard lesson learned while growing up but falls short of the truly affecting story it was shooting for. And while Carey Mulligan is very good in her role, and Alfred Molina brilliant as her stodgy father, I think this movie's downfall can be pinned on this movie's leading man - if not Peter Sarsgaard himself, then the character that was written for him. He's not overly attractive, or smooth, or rebellious, or sexy, or... anything. So why does the young woman fall hopelessly in love with him? To an extent, I can see this as the point - that we'll be blind to flaws when we're infatuated, particularly when we're young - but there is nothing compelling about him not only from a love-interest standpoint, but also from an audience standpoint. The various strange things he does throughout the film don't lead anywhere in terms of setting the stage for a logical surprise ending (and I say surprise ending cautiously: I never see endings coming, I'm not sure how shocking it truly was). It's hard to play an ambiguous character, but as my interest in the lead male waned, so too did my desire to finish the film. The little details along the way didn't build suspense, they just fizzled. It's a decent film that captures a Britain in transition and has the bones of a good story, but more a nuanced lead male role could have made it much better.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

The plot is not exactly satisfying to my taste but I cannot deny that you have some very good performances here. Mulligan and Molina are perfect for their roles. The rest of the characters come off as a bit flat or simply uninteresting. It feels as if a whole lot more could've come out of this.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

An Education Quotes

Headmistress: Nobody does anything worth doing without a degree.
Helen: Nobody does anything worth doing with a degree. No woman, anyway.
– Submitted by Zeldagne L (3 years ago)
David: I studied what they call the university of life. Didn't get a very good degree there.
– Submitted by David H (4 years ago)
Jenny: Action is character, our English teacher says. I think it means that if we never did anything, we wouldn't be anybody and I never did anything before I met you.
– Submitted by sahil m (4 years ago)
Jenny: I'm going to read what I want, and listen to what I want, and I'm going to look at paintings and watch French films, and I'm gonna talk to people who know lots about lots.
– Submitted by Ola B (4 years ago)

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