Carmen’s Picks–Your Movie Playdate

An Education–A film directed by Lone Scherfig. 

Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar last Sunday in the category of best director for The Hurt Locker. The first woman to win such a prize in the 82-year history of the Oscars, it is an understatement to say the award was overdue.

What makes her recognition even sweeter for me is that Bigelow, born in 1951 belongs to a generation of women coming of age in the sixties, in a world where women had few career choices and a lot of prejudices to overcome. A world realistically portrayed in my favorite Oscar nominee movie, An Education.

Based on a memoir of British journalist Lynn Barber, An Education is the story of a 16 year old girl living in 1961 London with her traditional middle-class parents. 

Smart and witted Jenny, who speaks French, plays cello, and has just won a scholarship to go to Oxford envisions life on her own terms. Before she meets David, that is. 

David, a 35 year old charmer, takes her to concerts and restaurants, art auctions and Paris, easily seducing her out of her dream. And when he proposes marriage, she accepts him, more than willing to forfeit her education for the glamorous life he seems to be offering her. 

There is a catch though, as David is not who he pretends to be, and Jenny is, unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, forced back to redefine her life by herself.

Despite the dark undercurrent of deceit, An Education is an enchanting story about falling in love and growing up, played with charming conviction by Carey Mulligan, who received a best actress nomination for her role.  As Colin Firth, my favorite nominee in the Best Actor category, put it, An Education is an evocative reminder of “how it felt to be sixteen and believe we had all the answers, when we didn’t even know the questions.”  Lucky for us, Kathryn Bigelow has found her answers and, by breaking the rules of what was expected of her, has given us a movie worthy of an Oscar, making us, ladies still not ready for granny panties, so very proud.