Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

An Education


Nominated for Best Picture of 2009, and deservedly so. It is based on an autobiographical memoir by Lynn Barber, and details her relationship at age 16 with a man of 35. It is 1961, some years before feminism and the rockin’ 60s, and she is bored to death with school, home life, and practically everything else. You know it will end badly, but the great thing about this film is that it is also clear that she has gained a lot from the encounter. Far from destroying her—as it well could have, and as such an ill-advised affair often does—it opens new horizons for her, far from her suburban existence. The cast is great, but this is a movie that succeeds or fails on the strength of its lead, Carey Mulligan, who is one of the brightest new stars I’ve seen in a long time, and also Oscar-nominated. I expect great things from her.