Lessons of love and life: An Education

The English film "An Education" is based on a true life memoir which documents one girl's attempt to make it to the university and the long tangle she finds herself in with an older man, in her final year of school.

The film follows the story of Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan), who is safely middle class and lives in Twickenham, a suburb in London. Her parents, much like Indian parents, have grand dreams of her making it to Oxford.

At sixteen and wide-eyed, top of her class, Jenny falls in love easily--with books, music, ideas and new experiences. She falls equally easily in love with the rakish and much older David (Peter Sarsgaard), whom she first meets on a rainy evening.

That encounter lays the ground for a months long affair of fine-dining, adult conversations and expensive trips. The world that David lays out is infinitely more dazzling to the impressionable Jenny than her current one. David's arrival also presents her family with a choice: Life at university or the comfort of marriage to a wealthy man.

"An Education" wonderfully combines school lessons and life lessons with school exams and a character test, putting its protagonist through the wringer. The film also offers glimpses into one girl's preparations ahead of entering university, which is a topical issue currently as the college admissions are about to begin. The luminescent Carey Mulligan gives a memorable performance that earned her an Oscar nomination.


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