Directed by Lone Scherfig, with a screenplay by Nick Hornby based on Lynn Barber’s memoir, the Oscar-nominated “An Education” is a fitting title for this story of teenager and straight A student Jenny’s (Carey Mulligan, a best actress Oscar nominee) awakening at the hands of older man David (Peter Sarsgaard).
Jenny, who lives with her parents Jack (Alfred Molina) and Majorie (Cara Seymour) in the London suburb Twickenham in the early 1960s, is prepping for her Oxford interview. While waiting for the bus in the rain with her cello, she is offered a ride home by David, and she reluctantly accepts. They hit it off, and suddenly the attentions of Graham (Matthew Beard), a boy her own age who regularly comes to dinner at her house, is meaningless to Jenny.
Soon David has charmed Jack and Majorie, too. He takes Jenny to concerts and dinner and more, even though she is only 16 and he is considerably older. Jenny meets David’s friends Danny (a hotter–than-ever Dominic Cooper) and Helen (Rosamund Pike) and gets a glimpse into David and Danny’s shady business dealings.
At school, Jenny’s friends are captivated by her stories of her adventures with David. However, her teacher Miss Stubbs (Olivia Williams) and headmistress (Emma Thompson) are less thrilled with her extracurricular activities and her transformation. With her future hanging in the balance, Jenny makes a series of decisions that will greatly impact the rest of her life. But little does she know that David is keeping a secret from her that she was too naïve to ever anticipate. Mulligan, who is reminiscent of a younger (and more talented) Katie Holmes, is terrific and gives the audience plenty of reasons to care about Jenny and what becomes of her.