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An Education

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United Kingdom, United States · 2009
Rated PG-13 · 1h 40m
Director Lone Scherfig
Starring Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike
Genre Drama, Romance

Despite her sheltered upbringing, Jenny is a teen with a bright future; she's smart, pretty, and has aspirations of attending the esteemed Oxford University. When David, a charming but much older suitor, motors into her life in a shiny automobile, Jenny gets a taste of adult life that she won't soon forget.

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What are people saying?

Kelsey Thomas Profile picture for Kelsey Thomas

A coming-of-age film that made me keep hoping the main character would, well, “come of age” sooner. A teen girl races to grow up but lacks the maturity to realize she is effectively being groomed. Still, I appreciate how the film ultimately doesn’t victimize her and fade to black. Instead, she’s given a chance to retake control of her life (but maybe in a manner that is a bit too tidy for my liking).

What are critics saying?


Chicago Reader by

This British drama is handsomely textured and beautifully acted, though the script often feels giddily out of touch with the essential creepiness of the scenario.


Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

An 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.


The Hollywood Reporter by James Greenberg

Topped by a fine cast, a first-rate script by Nick Hornby and tight direction by Lone Scherfig, the film is a smart, moving but not inaccessible entry in the coming-of-age canon.


Time Out by Keith Uhlich

Lone Scherfig directs it all as if it were a breezy lark, so a third-act tonal shift makes for an incongruous, excessively moralistic fit with everything that’s preceded. Most insulting, though, is the way in which the climactic passages miraculously tidy up every frayed edge of Jenny’s life.


The A.V. Club by Nathan Rabin

An 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.

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