In the early 1960's, sixteen year old Jenny Mellor lives with her parents in the London suburb of Twickenham. On her father's wishes, everything that Jenny does is in the sole pursuit of being accepted into Oxford, as he wants her to have a better life than he. Jenny is bright, pretty, hard working but also naturally gifted. The only problems her father may perceive in her life is her issue with learning Latin, and her dating a boy named Graham, who is nice but socially awkwa... (Full plot summary below)
In the early 1960's, sixteen year old Jenny Mellor lives with her parents in the London suburb of Twickenham. On her father's wishes, everything that Jenny does is in the sole pursuit of being accepted into Oxford, as he wants her to have a better life than he. Jenny is bright, pretty, hard working but also naturally gifted. The only problems her father may perceive in her life is her issue with learning Latin, and her dating a boy named Graham, who is nice but socially awkward. Jenny's life changes after she meets David Goldman, a man over twice her age. David goes out of his way to show Jenny and her family that his interest in her is not improper and that he wants solely to expose her to cultural activities which she enjoys. Jenny quickly gets accustomed to the life to which David and his constant companions, Danny and Helen, have shown her, and Jenny and David's relationship does move into becoming a romantic one. However, Jenny slowly learns more about David, and by association ...
Review & Comments
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Los Angeles Times - 10/10 by Kenneth TuranThis is a performance, and a film, to cherish for this year and always.
Salon.com - 10/10 by Andrew O'HehirAn Education captures the very limited possibilities for female liberation in early-'60s London -- with massive social change on the distant horizon, but not here yet -- in exquisite detail.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 10/10 by Joe WilliamsThe 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.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) - 10/10 by Liam LaceyHornby is a fine craftsman and his dialogue sparkles, though occasionally the scenes are too calculated.
Wall Street Journal - 10/10 by Joe MorgensternThis tale of an English schoolgirl's hard-won wisdom is thrilling --for the radiance of Carey Mulligan's Jenny, who's wonderfully smart and perilously tender; for the grace of Lone Scherfig's direction, and the brilliance of Nick Hornby's screenplay.
Portland Oregonian - 10/10 by Shawn LevyIt is, in its quiet, precise, classical way, nearly perfect.
Chicago Sun-Times - 10/10 by Roger EbertThis happens in 1961, when 16-year-old girls were a great deal less knowing than they are now. Yet the movie isn't shabby or painful, but romantic and wonderfully entertaining.
Christian Science Monitor - 9/10 by Peter RainerBracingly perceptive about the human comedy.
ReelViews - 9/10 by James BerardinelliIn the end, this is more a character study of Jenny than a tale of tortured love, and a reminder that any education worth having comes with its share of trauma.
Film Threat - 9/10 by Elias SavadaTechnical elements are among the best this year. Photography, editing, music, production design, and costumes all add seamless period flavor to the puritanical stew that was London almost a half-century ago.
Philadelphia Inquirer - 9/10 by Carrie RickeyDisarming and unexpectedly poignant, An Education contrasts the knowledge learned in school with that learned from life.
The A.V. Club - 9/10 by Nathan RabinAn Education shares with Hornby’s best work trenchant insight into the way smart, hyper-verbal young people let the music, films, books, and art they love define themselves as they figure out who they are and what they want to be.