An Education (2009)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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.

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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?
Rating:
PG-13 (for mature thematic material involving sexual content, and for smoking)
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Emma Thompson
as Headmistress
Olivia Williams
as Miss Stubbs
Cara Seymour
as Marjorie
Matthew Beard
as Graham
William Melling
as Small Boy
Connor Catchpole
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 Member
Mark Edwards
as Nightclub Band Member
Tom Rees-Roberts
as Nightclub Band Member
Arnie Somogyi
as Nightclub Band Member
Paul Wilkinson
as Nightclub Band Member
Phil Wilkinson
as Nightclub Band Member
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Critic Reviews for An Education

All Critics (180) | Top Critics (38)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | November 17, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

December 15, 2009
Associated Press
Top Critic

The centerpiece of An Education is the breakout performance of young Carey Mulligan. She is enchanting, and almost convincing as the teenage Jenny, though she can't completely obscure the (justified) suspicion that she's in her twenties and old enough f

Full Review… | November 22, 2009
Film.com
Top Critic

The combination of a literate script, an adroit cast and an economical style is simple addition that achieves an alchemical feat: the best film of the year.

November 11, 2009
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

A beguiling little film that, with deceptive restraint and forthrightness, opens up worlds of roiling, contradictory emotions.

Full Review… | November 5, 2009
Washington Post
Top Critic

The movie belongs to Mulligan, whose Jenny looks like Audrey Hepburn when she puts her hair up and dons a black dress, and like every teenage girl who's had her heart broken when she cries.

November 5, 2009
Seattle Times
Top Critic

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 Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

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
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
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

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