An Education may appeal to viewers in the mood for a touch of class or adults wanting to understand the complex relationship between a teenage girl and a con man, but as romantic cinema is not a favoured genre of mine I found An Education to be nothing much more than just another romantic drama which featured creative elements as well as cliche elements which made it entertaining in certain areas while dull in others.
The romance in An Education plays more of a key role to the story than the subject of protagonist Jenny Mellor's education and development as a person as she learns from both experiences. Unfortunately, really An Education dissolves into being a rather dull romantic drama which fails to take advantage of its characters in such a complex relationship and instead uses it as a symbol for the titular education that Jenny experiences. It didn't teach me anything though, except that the main character is clearly a lot more naive than she expected. And yet the stupid thing is that in the end, we get no insight into the idea that she may have learned anything from the experience. It cuts after she experiences a lot of complex dynamics before overcoming adversity, and it seems like she's only going to look back on all the experiences she experiences in the film and say "Damn, that was lame. Oh well." which makes her entire journey just tedious and pointless. The story cuts at a certain point and refuses to develop from there, and really it could have done a lot more, especially with its theme of how Jenny is against what society deems as the proper way of life in there. A film about that would have been interesting, not one about dating an older man until realising "Surprise, Surprise, he lied to you to get in your pants". An Education seems like its story was just pointless to tell, and I don't know why Lone Scherfig bothered.
But I will say that Carey Mulligan did give a very strong performance with a lot of passion in her and a meaningful line delivery which she never downgrades but keeps consistently strong for the sake of the film's benefit. She shines in An Education and proves that she is an actress worth remembering, and her general British charm just made her blossom as a woman and an actress.
Peter Sarsgaard and Alfred Molina also gave strong supporting performances.
But regardless of what the title of the film is, An Education gave me no education on anything about love. It instead just said to me "Society sucks and men are bad". Any film with that as a key premise is not worth watching, particularly when it's as dull and boring as An Education was.