Like everyone else who saw the trailer, I couldn't wait for An Education to come out (because period movies are the best for wardrobe inspiration fun). Normally I tend to wait for the reviews to come out before deciding whether to pay to see a movie in the theatre or to wait until the library gets the DVD (Canada doesn't get Netflix). But since it was offered at the Film Festival I toddled off to see it.
I wasn't disappointed by the costumes. So many wonderful dresses I wanted to steal and the hair was realistic and correct for 1960. And the sets were fantastic, especially the suburban house that Jenny lives in -so dull and ordinary, and yet elegant at the same time. And I wanted to live in Miss Stubbs' apartment with its postcards, mismatched dishes and lilac walls (she was also wearing a wonderful pair of cigarette pants with a slide slit).
As for the acting and plot bits, it was pretty good too. Peter Sarsgaard's accent hardly ever slipped and he was sympathetic up to a point and a bounder throughout. Carey "Sally Sparrow" Mulligan did a fine job as Jenny and effortlessly built up the character into an actual person. But, I thought that her accent was a tad modern at times and someone kept trying to dress her as AH in Charade (which didn't fit the character).
I did have some problems with the plot (I know that it's based on a true story). I just couldn't believe that a 16 year old girl wouldn't have picked up on the caddish behaviour of David. Yes, he's charming, knows the best clubs and concerts, but he does pick up school girls at bus stops, steal paintings off walls and has a trunk full of typewriters and booze and still Jenny doesn't think that he has something to hide. But other than that aspect, the story has a natural rhythm.
I really liked the performances of the supporting characters. Especially Alfred Molina as the strict, clueless darling father (for not picking up that if a couple goes away for the weekend, they are going to sleep together). And Rosamund Pike as the beautiful but dumb as a box of hair Helen (she kept that vacant look on her face the entire time) And Emma Thompson was as fantastic as ever as the incredibly anti-Semitic headmistress with some wonderful fur-trimmed suits.