An Education tells the coming-of-age story of a teenage girl living in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age. The screenplay itself is written by Nick Hornby; author of High Fidelity, About A Boy, among many others. While I have to admit the story itself has been done many times before -- young girl falling in love and "awakened" by an older man -- this film brings something else to the table by offering superb acting, evocative 60's atmosphere, strong points of view, and brilliant writing.
What I loved about the movie is the main character, Jenny, and the actress that played her, Carey Mulligan. Both are beautiful and strong. But one of my favorite parts about An Education is the atmosphere; the fashion, the style, the culture, the fact that Paris plays a part in this, and the actual era itself. It is depicted so well, I can only wish to live in it! Everything about is just beautiful! That being said, it's truly the overall appeal and vibe of the film that made me fall in love.
Not to say that it doesn't have anything else to offer, because it certainly leaves us with strong and much-needed messages as well. What is education anyway and why is it so important? And when we say the word, "Education," do we mean it in a literal sense, or are we talking about the kind that expects people to grow and mature as human beings? The film asks these questions and leaves you figuring them out for yourself.
As far as recommendations go, truthfully, the film is probably not for everyone, but I still highly recommend you try it and see for yourself. The story is mediocre, but the acting is great. The overall mood is GORGEOUS, and the message is enlightening. Personally, I loved it.
I'm just going to go ahead and end this review with a quote from the movie itself; "The life I want, there is no shortcut." It's such a simple quote, yet that perhaps, might be, the biggest -- not to mention, the most difficult -- lesson of all.