Thursday, 31 December 2009

Getting An Education

It only points to my verbosity and general dementedness that I can’t tie down my thoughts in one review. So now, it’s on to Second Part.
            
This year, my first on the blogosphere a number of reviews spoke about the intimacy they felt looking at a particular film, or the personal feeling it gave them. There were the usual suspects – Precious, The Hurt Locker the less likely – Broken Embraces, Brothers. Some films depend on hitting the audience on that emotional level. I’m not sure if An Education depends on this as much as, say Precious. But up until now, it’s I think this is the most personal films I’ve seen of the year.

An Education tells the story of a young girl [Carey Mulligan] in sixties England, Jenny – our heroine. She hopes to read English at Oxford University and seems on her way there, complete with a slightly overbearing father [Alfred Molina]. She happens upon a debonair older man and with his friends she’s introduced to a world of music, art and most of all fun. I suppose ostensibly there would seem to be no large similarities between 1960 London and 2000 Guyana. But there is. Up until a few decades ago this country was filled with the English, so we’ve retained some of their traditions. We have those uniforms in the public school system, the stratified staffing at schools and the Sixth Form education system. So as different as it was it was also strangely similar. There’s always that inadvertent divide when I watch American films about school, a divide that was luckily absent in An Education.
         
Looking at An Education I was surprised at how formidable some technical aspects of the film were. The cinematography is so beauteous. It’s a word that I don’t use often, and then only for period pieces. But it was all shot so wonderfully in such an understated way that I suppose I can understand why more hasn’t been said of it. The set design too is striking. I have no idea what it should look like, but it does look good to me. I’ve never been a gadget person, but I’m damned if I didn’t want David’s car in my yard. The austere of the school, even the quietness of Jenny’s home, all seem so...exquisite? And the costumes? Not just the women, everyone. So lush, so right and so...British.
                   
It’s now been a full day since I saw An Education, and for some reason it’s still on my mind. I realise I just may be gushing like one of Jenny’s schoolgirl friends. Ugh. I’m still thinking about a grade. I could give it a B and it wouldn’t be too little. Or I could give it an A+ and it wouldn’t feel too much. It’s the last day of the year. I’m having a block. Obviously. I’ll be back in an hour with the final conclusions.
     
Other Reviews To Mull Over
The Mad Hatter loves it...
Univarn likes it...
Joe doesn't...
Nathaniel does
Joes does too, I think
    
Link your review below if you did one, and I missed it...

1 comment:

gattoreels said...

I agree with all of what you say. Well done.

http://gattoreels.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/an-education/