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Peter T Chattaway

An Education

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'Education' gets four stars

Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina and Emma Thompson will star in the 1960s coming-of-age drama "An Education."

Writer Nick Hornby ("About a Boy") adapted the screenplay from a memoir by Lynn Barber, published in literary magazine Granta. Endgame Entertainment and BBC Films are financing the film.

Danish director Lone Scherfig will helm the story of a 17-year-old girl (Mulligan) living in the quiet London suburbs. As the swinging '60s culture emerges, her world turns upside down after she meets a 35-year-old sportscar-driving Brit (Sarsgaard). . . .

Hollywood Reporter, February 12


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Jeffrey Wells:

Lone Scherfig's An Education, a coming-of-age period drama set in 1961 London, is the absolute shit -- the best film of the Sundance Film Festival, a finely tuned and deeply engaging film by regular popcorn-watching standards, an award-calibre drama that will definitely be in contention at the end of the year, and a movie that has launched a genuine movie star in an old-fashioned and yet very new-fashioned sense -- 23 year-old Carey Mulligan. . . .


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Negotiation drama at Sundance over 'Education'

The Peter Rice specialty division is said to have made an offer in the $1 million range for the British period pic shortly after the movie played like gangbusters at its Sunday afternoon Park City premiere.

But filmmaker co-reps CAA and Endeavor, believing they had a bigger commercial play on their hands, turned down the offer and countered with an amount in the high-seven figures, with some pegging the number as high as $10 million.

Hollywood Reporter, January 20


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Bilge Ebiri:

Set in the early 60s, the film is the story of 16-year old Jenny (Mulligan), a precocious and beautiful schoolgirl from a lower middle-class milieu who studies hard, plays the cello, and rifles through a dog eared copy of L


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Sony Pictures Classics gets 'Education'

The deal for Lone Scherfig's 1960s-set dramedy closed Monday night for about $4 million.

Hollywood Reporter, January 20


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Jeffrey Wells is distressed by the realization that modern 20-somethings might not be able to relate to a film set in the early 1960s in which a guy in his 30s romances a teenaged girl ... and everybody is okay with that.

Let's hope, for these kids' sake, that they never saw Sense and Sensibility, where the teenaged Kate Winslet hooks up with Alan Rickman, who was ALMOST 50 at the time that film was made.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Here's the trailer.

Reminds me of a Hugh Grant/Ren


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Wasn't Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself in English?

Oh, wait, no, of course not. It was in Scottish.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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LOL, now that you mention it I think you're right. And I think I gave up on it after about 70 minutes, can't really remember.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Wasn't Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself in English?

Oh, wait, no, of course not. It was in Scottish.

I watched Trainspotting with the subtitles turned on for precisely that reason.


It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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Heh heh. I watched Trainspotting in Sweden and the only subtitles were in Swedish so I was screwed and gave up fast and have never had the urge to try it again.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Podhoretz says the movie, as an adaptation, is false:

Many details from Barber's account are present in the movie, including creepy details like Simon's predilection for baby talk and some casual thievery in which he engages. But Sarsgaard's sweet manner and his smashing looks make these moments seem more quirky than disturbing. What is entirely absent from the movie is any sense of one role that Lynn/Jenny plays in the relationship aside from being the recipient of Simon/David's largesse. Barber's cold-eyed description of her teenage self as a "schoolgirl ice maiden" bears no relation whatsoever to Mulligan's adorably fizzy and admirably tough-minded Jenny. ...

But her involvement with a shady con man damaged her in terrible ways, Barber writes: "I learned not to trust people; I learned not to believe what they say but to watch what they do. .  .  . Learning all this was a good basis for my subsequent career as an interviewer, but not, I think, for life. It made me too wary, too cautious, too ungiving."

The true story behind An Education is not a tragedy, but it is sad. Barber wrote her rueful words at the age of 65. The movie suggests that she emerged from the experience maybe a little sadder, certainly a little wiser, and with her vivacity intact. That is not what happened to Barber, by her own account, and by going with a happy-survivor version of the truth, the movie seeks to deceive its audience.

I haven't seen the movie, nor read the book on which it's based, but this is an interesting contrast.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Just wondering, has anyone here seen the movie yet?

For those who haven't seen it yet, but are keen to witness the C.S. Lewis reference, it isn't all that big a deal, really. Those who know how much Lewis hated being called "Clive" will get a kick out of the way the Sarsgaard character calls him that in a bid to convince Mulligan's parents that he is on familiar terms with Lewis and can thus introduce Mulligan to Lewis when he takes her to Oxford, but the film doesn't really do anything with the Lewis reference beyond that plot point. (I'm also wondering if the film gets its facts right; at this point in his life, if memory serves, Lewis was teaching at Cambridge but still living in Oxford, so whether he was even in town when the Sarsgaard and Mulligan characters go there might have depended on what day of the week it was, no?)


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Saw it over the weekend. Still mulling what I think of Sarsgaard's performance. Was not quite sure why even unsophisticated people didn't see through him - he as so clearly the poster boy for Peter Pan Complex.


A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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Just wondering, has anyone here seen the movie yet?

For those who haven't seen it yet, but are keen to witness the C.S. Lewis reference, it isn't all that big a deal, really. Those who know how much Lewis hated being called "Clive" will get a kick out of the way the Sarsgaard character calls him that in a bid to convince Mulligan's parents that he is on familiar terms with Lewis and can thus introduce Mulligan to Lewis when he takes her to Oxford, but the film doesn't really do anything with the Lewis reference beyond that plot point.

Caught that in the Washington Post review and got a chuckle out of it. I think the reviewer missed it, but it would be easy to miss if you didn't know much about Lewis.

The movie sounds interesting and I would like to see it at some point. I remember Carey Mulligan from Bleak House (which I haven't finished watching yet, but like so far!) and My Boy Jack.

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I remember Carey Mulligan from Bleak House (which I haven't finished watching yet, but like so far!) and My Boy Jack.

Do you remember her from Pride and Prejudice?

2005_pride_and_prejudice_042.jpg

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Far behind everyone else in seeing worthy films, as usual. And actually, I'm kind of surprised to find little in this thread but vague mutterings. An Education not only showcases several brilliant performances--Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Olivia Williams, even Emma Thompson's cameo--it's visually adept and captures with exactness and without sentimentality or romanticism how a young girl (and those who love her) can have been so very, very stupid. The closest parallel that occurs to me is The Notorious Bettie Page (Ron Reed's review). While Mulligan's performance, and the ending of the movie, may suggest (as in the review quoted above) that Jenny gets off unscathed, I didn't get that impression.

Ken Morefield's review, from TIFF for CT Movies blog.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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I saw this a couple of weeks ago, and been meaning to voice my disappointment. So much of it just didn't ring true for me, particularly the way Molina's character totally caves in. And the way the friends act all disapproving at the end despite the fact that all the way through they know what's happening. I suppose it would have spoilt the plot if they'd have warned her off him though.

[spoilers]I also thought the film steered it's way rather awkwardly towards the ending. It's not until the affair ends that it becomes clear she's missed her chance to get in at Oxford, and there's this whole extra 10 minutes where we see her trying to do her exams and it's hugely predictable that she's going to get in and there's going to be a happy ending, but it ends up feeling contrived. Whereas if the affair had ended and she'd somehow managed to get through anyway, I dunno.[/spoilers]

Don't get me wrong, there are some good things about the film, not least the performances and period feel Beth mentions, but I think particularly the Hornby elements didn't work as well here as they have done in other places.

Matt

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I was disappointed too. Carey Mulligan's a cutie, and she's just fine in the part, but I don't get why people are hailing her as the next Audrey Hepburn. The ending of the film is abrupt, simplistic, and felt utterly insufficient after all we'd just gone through. It's a handsome little movie with some winning chemistry, but for me, Rosamund Pike's performance was the most interesting thing in it. I felt more for her character than for anyone - she was truly trapped, exploited, and oblivious to her own ignorance. Sad, tragic, and complicated. She stole every scene she was in.

It's better than Up in the Air, but suffers from some of the same weaknesses, including a similarly predictable revelation late in the film.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Just wondering, has anyone here seen the movie yet?

For those who haven't seen it yet, but are keen to witness the C.S. Lewis reference, it isn't all that big a deal, really. Those who know how much Lewis hated being called "Clive" will get a kick out of the way the Sarsgaard character calls him that in a bid to convince Mulligan's parents that he is on familiar terms with Lewis and can thus introduce Mulligan to Lewis when he takes her to Oxford, but the film doesn't really do anything with the Lewis reference beyond that plot point. (I'm also wondering if the film gets its facts right; at this point in his life, if memory serves, Lewis was teaching at Cambridge but still living in Oxford, so whether he was even in town when the Sarsgaard and Mulligan characters go there might have depended on what day of the week it was, no?)

Just saw it tonight, and yeah, that's in the film. Remember the scene between her and her father, through the bedroom door? Her father talked about how he had both believed what the Sarsgaard character says about himself, and what his daughter had told him about Sarsgaard. He said he had heard a radio program over the weekend saying that Clive Lewis had gone to Cambridge in '54, and he thought, no, they got that part of the story wrong, because my daughter talked to him at Oxford.

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Stephen Lamb wrote:

: : (I'm also wondering if the film gets its facts right; at this point in his life, if memory serves, Lewis was teaching at Cambridge but still living in Oxford, so whether he was even in town when the Sarsgaard and Mulligan characters go there might have depended on what day of the week it was, no?)

:

: Just saw it tonight, and yeah, that's in the film. Remember the scene between her and her father, through the bedroom door?

Yes, but I'm not convinced that what the father says is necessarily accurate. Lewis did start TEACHING at Cambridge instead of Oxford in '54 or thereabouts, but I'm not convinced that he MOVED to Cambridge -- so if, say, Sarsgaard and Mulligan were going to Oxford on a WEEKEND, then Lewis might very well have been there, even if he had an apartment or something in Cambridge where he might have stayed on the days when he was teaching there.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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And Oxbridge teaching schedules weren't exactly rigorous. The weekend/weekday distinction wouldn't really have applied. What if Lewis was in the middle of a research phase? The library at Cambridge isn't as user friendly as Oxford's.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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I like the way Nick Davis sums up the same problem I had while watching this film:

An Education, indifferently shot and gruesomely scored, has no inclination or ability whatsoever to imagine that its lead character should be complicated for us by her active role in her own fate, and prefers to make her an unfathomably winsome gamine, allowing her to lecture just about everyone around her at some point in the film, including that hambone Alfred Molina...

After all of the raves, I was stunned by how unpersuaded I remained throughout. The whole film seemed calculated to make Carey Mulligan a star, giving her all kinds of opportunities to charm, but protecting her from playing the damage that such a character would suffer (with the exception of a few moments of despondence and dismay).

And I like the word "indifferently" here for the cinematography, although the word on my mind was "unimaginative."

I've heard a lot of praise for Molina too. But as I said earlier, the only performance that kindled any kind of intrigue for me was (predictably) Rosamund Pike's. That character sticks with me. Pike made me feel for this sad, ignorant, neglected woman who seems to occasionally glimpse the horror of what she's been sold, and how she's been bought.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I ache for Mrs. Scherfig, and Hornby as well. It is disheartening to see words like "unimaginative" and "indifferent" tossed into the mix with "cinematography."

She's such a hopeless romantic that I suppose it was bound to happen eventually.

I'll still be saving it for a future date on DVD.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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