An Education (2009)

Wonderful Soul, Unwonderful World

The story happens all the time, I suppose. A young woman is bright, much brighter than her peers. She deeply understands the forces and passions in novels, real literature. That means that she is not only smart, that she understands life, but she knows that passions exist, waiting for her. The story is a simple one, of her entering the world and getting swept astray because she trusts a man likes she trusts herself.

The film is worth seeing because of the young actress, who was new to me. It always amazes me when I see an actress (has to be a woman) who can effectively portray this tip, this engagement — the thrill, fear, gathering and cutting pain when she realises what parts of the world she has woven into.

I do not doubt that it is easy for many women to understand this and act the part. But communicating it is rare, because the actress needs to use the opposite traits of the character: confidence instead of open discovery, external carriage instead of internal treasuring. Making the audience vulnerable is not the same as being vulnerable. This woman does this.

Unfortunately, the movie itself is poor. It is not of the same caliber, not in any respect. It is as though the filmmaker decided to make the movie a dull conspirator, pulling against the actress just as the world in the story pulls against the character. Hornby knew better in “High Fidelity.”

I was particularly disappointed by the clumsy ending. It did “explain” the confidence of the actress. What we see is not as it happened, but as it was remembered by the much older and wiser women who later wrote it.

Posted in 2010

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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