An Education

Based on Lynn Barber's memoir, this coming-of-age story is about an educated high-school student and how she got that way.

We are in 1960s London and watch a gifted girl meet a man almost twice her age who reassures her that he means no harm, disarms her parents with his charm and introduces her to his exciting friends, played by Dominic Cooper ("The History Boys") and Rosamund Pike ("Pride and Prejudice" 2005) who seem to have no money worries, live well, have LOTS of fun and go anywhere they want! By the way, Miss Pike plays the dimmest bulb in the box; I have NEVER seen her play a dumb blonde before and she nails it!

Clearly, our heroine's boring life no longer has any appeal and she launches herself on her own education. What she learns and how she learns it are the central issues of this film. It is excellently cast, with the lead played by Carrie Mulligan ("Public Enemies") and her appealing swain played by Peter Sarsgaard ("Jarhead").

Her parents are perfect, with the always excellent Alfred Molina ("Under- taking Betty") as her gullible father, and Cara Seymour ("Adaptation") as her complacent mother. This is before the women's movement, so they are understandably bewildered by their daughter's view that college shouldn't simply be a place for a girl to find a successful husband and settle down. She wants to go to Paris, speak French and smoke French cigarettes!

This movie definitely offers someone to root for and you become deeply involved in her life lessons. My thanks to the JayFlix gal who suggested this to me!