An Education (2009) Director: Lone Scherfig

An Education is a nicely packaged movie but not really worthy of the attention it received - Carey Mulligan as 16-year-old Jenny Millar is the real talent on show here in this coming-of-age drama, based on the real-life experiences of journalist Lynn Barber. She puts in a great performance and her Oscar nomination and BAFTA award for Best Actress are understood. The rest of it though is, well, a bit flat and quite disturbing underneath.

The film follows Jenny, a grade A student and on track for Oxford University, who starts a relationship with an older man, David (Peter Sarsgaard). Quite why David is interested in Jenny is the disturbing element - he's a loathsome character, and as his true character comes to light, it's a bit of a shocker. Can he not relate to women of his own age? Certainly, something doesn't seem to be at all right with him in the film. Jenny is swept up in his lavish lifestyle, and with his friends Danny (Dominic Cooper) and his girlfriend Helen (Rosamund Pike); Danny takes pity on Jenny and is attracted to her, as she is far more intelligent than Helen, but they don't reveal David's secrets, being somewhat of a game for them all.

An Education has a good script by Nick Hornby and is well acted, but there's just that something missing which makes it riveting viewing. It's almost as if it's trying too hard to be twee, award-worthy and very British. Carey Mulligan looks OUTSTANDING in it though and she is feisty, sparkling and accurate in her portrayl of a confused teen who is desperate to be a grown-up.