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Archive for November 1st, 2009

A Good Month.  I have seen ten films at the cinema this month, having used my “Unlimited” card it has worked out at £1.35 per movie.  Not bad! A slight change this month as I have decided to nominate six movies not five.  They are:

Melissa GeorgePandorumzombielandThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassusfantastic mr foxan education

  • Triangle: Strange goings on aboard a ship.
  • Pandorum: Strange goings on aboard a space ship.
  • Zombieland:  More comedy than horror but it really works!
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus: Far from Terry Gilliam’s best work but still worth seeing.
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox: Amazingly realistic 3D CG animation is not used for this film, that’s a good thing! 
  • An Education: Unoriginal but quality coming of age drama with a great leading performance.

The Winner is:

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Based on the true story of journalist Lynn Barber’s teenage years An Education focuses on part of her autobiography and has a screenplay by novelist Nick Hornby.  Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is a sixteen year old school girl studying for her A levels with the hope of reading English at Oxford. A chance meeting with David (Peter Sarsgaard), A charismatic older man changes her life. Introducing her to society she is dazzled and blinded by the good life of David and his friends, most notably Helen (Rosamund Pike) and Danny (Dominic Cooper). Helen is beautiful and stylish but ultimately incredibly dumb and shallow. You can tell from the start that things wont end well but you are never quite sure why. David and Danny’s business dealings are clearly shady at best but Jenny chooses to ignore as she is having such a good time, she is as infatuated as much with the lifestyle as she is with the man. The reveal when it comes is no great surprise but is handled well and ultimately leads to a satisfactory if predicable conclusion.

an education

Many of the supporting characters are one dimensional caricatures, these include Alfred Molina and Cara Seymour as Jenny’s parents, Olivia Williams and Emma Thompson as her English teacher and Headmistress respectively. This isn’t a problem as they all give strong performance particularly Molina as Jenny’s strict but ultimately misguided and insecure farther. My only problem is with the character of David, as a man of a similar age to him I found him more creepy than charming. This makes me wonder how someone younger like Jenny would perceive him. More importantly what should an older person such as her parents think of him? And as complete side David’s Bristol (I think it’s a 405) probably cost more when new than his house.

Ultimately the film is enjoyable but as with many coming of age dramas has little new to say for itself and at times it feels a little lightweight. This isn’t a criticism, there isn’t anything wrong with being lightweight and without crossing into other genres is there anything new to say about coming of age? The one thing you will take away from this film is a sense that you have just witnessed the emergence of a new star. Prior to this film Carey Mulligan’s most notable performance was probably a staring role in the highly regarded Dr Who episode “Blink”. From what I have seen so far this year she really deserves a best actress nomination at next years Oscars.

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