Thursday, January 14, 2010
GREAT PERFORMANCES - AVERAGE STORYTELLING
AN EDUCATION (C+)
This is probably another movie that none of you have ever heard of before. I decided to check it out because of the Best Actress Golden Globe nomination for the young starlet Carey Mulligan. She delivers a performance worthy of the nomination in a movie that is ripe for a young actress like herself. An Education is full of emotional moments that Mulligan thrives in making her role outshine the entire project itself.
This film focuses around the monotonous life of a young intelligent school girl named Jenny growing up in suburban London in the 1960's. She is the best student in her class on track to attending the prestigious school Oxford. She then meets an older gentleman named David (Peter Sarsgaard) who shows her the livelier side of life. He brings her out dancing and drinking, to classical music concerts, art auctions, and many more formal occasions. She soon begins to let her student life slip in favor of the new adventurous life she has been presented.
This film was definitely made by the performances from Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard. Mulligan flourishes as the young school girl trying to break out of her plain shell to fit into a glamorous life. Her emotions are easy to read which gives her character more depth. Her ability to move the audience just as her character is feeling heightens the viewing experience. Sarsgaard has been a Hollywood regular for awhile now and his experience was apparent. His performance wasn't spectacular, but it complimented the project almost like Robin to Mulligan's Batman.
This film in my mind was very good until the end. The real conflict in the story hits and the film just wraps up so suddenly. The script spent the length of the movie developing this young girl. The abrupt ending left me thinking, "That's it?" It seemed out of place to have such an elaborate story finish so sudden. Definitely not beneficial to a character driven plot.
Overall, An Education was worth a view to experience the story of a girl who has it all but then throws it away. Carey Mulligan is sensational in her role bonding very nicely with the much older Sarsgaard. This film will probably pick up some buzz with the upcoming award season (the critics loved it) but I am sure most will miss Mulligan's nominated performance. Though I didn't love this film, I would recommend a view based on the acting prowess of this project's stars. If you have a chance, check this one out. But don't go out of your way to see it, it's nothing special.
Look for Carey Mulligan in the upcoming release of Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps slated to drop in theaters this April. She stars in the movie with her current boyfriend Shia LaBeouf.
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