An Education (2009)

Scripted by novelist Nick Hornby, this unusually upmarket coming-of-age story made an overnight sensation of Carey Mulligan as a precocious schoolgirl learning life lessons in early 1960s London.

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“One of the chief pleasures of Lone Scherfig’s crisply confident and charming coming-of-age drama is seeing a teenage girl who’s hungry for adult life rather than love or peer approval.”
Kate Stables, Sight & Sound, 2009

Though based on a brief memoir by the journalist Lynn Barber, An Education was a personal project for novelist and screenwriter Nick Hornby, and was produced by his wife Amanda Posey. Carey Mulligan had her first starring role as Jenny, a suburban schoolgirl in early-60s London who is captivated when her sophisticated older boyfriend David (Peter Sarsgaard) introduces her to the finer things in life – not just sex, but Oxford, Paris and classical music – only to discover he has feet of clay.

Danish director Lone Scherfig does a fine job of capturing the emotional and social nuances of the period, assisted by a top-notch supporting cast of British actors that includes Emma Thompson, Olivia Williams, Dominic Cooper, Alfred Molina and a scene-stealing Rosamund Pike.

The screen adaptations of Nick Hornby’s own books usually revolve around feckless male protagonists: see Fever Pitch (1997 and 2005), High Fidelity (2000) and About a Boy (2002).

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