[Screen It]

 

"AN EDUCATION"
(2009) (Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy None Heavy None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None None Minor Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme None


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A bright 16-year-old girl in early 1960s London suburbs is seduced by the trappings of hanging out with and then dating an older man who allows her access to the finer things in life.
PLOT:
It's 1961 and Jenny (CAREY MULLIGAN) is a 16-year-old who lives at her Twickenham, England home with her parents, Jack (ALFRED MOLINA) and Marjorie (CARA SEYMOUR), attends a private all-girls school run by the Headmistress (EMMA THOMPSON), and who would seem to have everything going for her.

Bright, cultured beyond her years, pretty, and the best student in her English class taught by Miss Stubbs (OLIVIA WILLIAMS), Jenny is working hard to get into Oxford, all while enjoying the attention paid to her by fellow musician Graham (MATTHEW BEARD).

But that teen isn't the only one drawn by her interest in fine music, as thirty-something David (PETER SARSGAARD) offers to give her a ride home in the rain one day, supposedly only in the interest of protecting her cello from the elements.

He also seems to have it all -- a rare sports car, fun friends in Danny (DOMINIC COOPER) and Helen (ROSAMUND PIKE), boyish good looks and a disarmingly charming demeanor -- and his access to the finer things in life lures both Jenny and then her parents into thinking he might be the best thing ever to come along for her.

It's not long before David and his friends are whisking Jenny away to Oxford and then Paris for her 17th birthday, and she loves every minute of her new life. All of which makes her question why she should continue pursuing academics when any achievements in that won't provide her with the same level of satisfaction she's currently experiencing.

As the headmistress and Miss Stubbs try to warn her about continuing this new lifestyle and mindset, and after discovering that everything isn't as perfect as she originally thought, Jenny must decide what to do about her future.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teens may be interested in the tale, as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast, but it doesn't seem likely a lot of kids will be clamoring to see this.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For mature thematic material involving sexual content, and for smoking.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Please note, to avoid spoilers, the following does not contain third act revelations about certain characters.
  • CAREY MULLIGAN plays a 16-year-old girl who seems to have it all -- smarts, good looks and an appreciation of high culture -- but considers throwing away her academic and career future -- in an era where the latter is severely limited -- when she meets David and he shows her a new world filled with the finer things in life. She smokes, drinks and loses her virginity to him when she turns 17.
  • PETER SARSGAARD plays a thirty-something guy whose boyish good looks, fun and cultured lifestyle and disarmingly charming demeanor wins her over, first as a friend and then a lover. He tells various believable lies to convince her parents that he's good for her, all of which are a harbinger of his true nature. He smokes, drinks and eventually beds her after her pivotal birthday.
  • ALFRED MOLINA plays Jenny's opinionated middle-class dad who enjoys complaining about how much her education is costing him, but wants the best for her. Yet, he's fooled by David and thus thinks that man is the best future for her. He drinks some.
  • CARA SEYMOUR plays his wife who's more supportive, but equally falls for David's ruse regarding their daughter. She smokes a few times and briefly drinks.
  • DOMINIC COOPER plays David's friend and business partner who has fun with all of them as a foursome, but is all business when time calls for that. He smokes, drinks and knowingly worries that Jenny is somehow going to end up hurt from her involvement with David.
  • ROSAMUND PIKE plays his girlfriend who enjoys her lifestyle, but isn't as much into high culture as the rest. She drinks and smokes.
  • OLIVIA WILLIAMS plays Jenny's prim and proper English teacher who enjoys having her as her best student, but worries when she sees the teen seemingly headed down a slippery slope.
  • EMMA THOMPSON plays the headmistress at the school who has similar concerns.
  • MATTHEW BEARD plays a teen who knows Jenny through playing music with her and others and is smitten with her, in the usual awkward teen fashion.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG-13. A handful of minor expletives are uttered, as are some religious and colorful phrases. Sexually related dialogue is present, as is a 16-year-old girl showing her bare breasts to her 30-something male lover (we don't see them) before losing her virginity to him (off-screen) when she turns 17. Some classic style paintings show nudity (female breast & butt).

    Characters (including those under 18) drink and smoke throughout the film, while bad attitudes are present, as is some tense family material.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, varying amounts of camera movement (sometimes fairly bouncy handheld footage) occasionally occur in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Jack asks David if he'd like a drink. David replies he'd love one, but that he and Jenny are running late.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks before a concert begins.
  • Jenny, David, Danny and Helen have drinks in a restaurant as do others.
  • David, Danny and Helen have drinks.
  • Jack, Marjorie and David have wine.
  • Danny has a beer in a bar.
  • Danny and Helen hold two drinks each (for them and David and Jenny).
  • Jack asks David if he'd like a drink and then walks over with ones for both of them, but we don't see any consumption by either.
  • David jokes about ordering some champagne for him and Jenny.
  • David and Jenny have wine.
  • Jenny and Helen have champagne in a club where others drink.
  • David, Jenny, Danny and Helen have drinks.
  • David tells Jack about a place they're headed to having the best wine, but the trip is aborted.
  • David retrieves a bottle of wine from a case in his trunk and takes a swig from the bottle.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • After Graham waves to Jenny, some younger boys making joking kissing sounds and gestures toward her. They later make fun of Graham in another scene (for liking Jenny).
  • Jack asks Graham if he's a "Teddy boy" and wonders if he'll be the "wandering Jew" (for taking a year off from school to see the world).
  • Jack lets on that he isn't crazy that David is Jewish.
  • After seeing Danny rent a property to a black family, Jenny wonders how he knows those "negro people," and he says they're clients of his.
  • David lies to Jenny's parents about personally knowing C.S. Lewis, all to manipulate them into letting Jenny go to Oxford with him. Later, David writes a fake note and autograph inside a copy of a Lewis book to complete the ruse.
  • Helen wonders why all girls in college somehow become unattractive.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Jenny realizes (while along for a ride with them and Helen) that David and Danny get their riches from stealing artwork from homes that are for sale. She then walks away in disgust, but David convinces her that it's okay in this instance by saying they liberated an old map from the previous owner and tells Jenny, "Don't be bourgeois." He then states that "stats" are old ladies who are scared of colored people and that he and Danny move the latter into neighborhoods to make the old ladies move out, and thus leave their "for sale" homes ripe for the picking. He finally convinces her by saying that fun (and the money needed for that) doesn't grow on trees.
  • About David being Jewish, the Headmistress states her belief that they killed her Lord, with Jenny replying that Jesus was a Jew. The Headmistress then says what happened to them in WWII was bad, but that it's still no excuse.
  • After Miss Stubbs tells Jenny that work is hard and boring, Jenny asks why she would want that (rather than being a pampered wife to David with access to the finer things in life).
  • Danny isn't happy about David and Jenny being engaged as he's worried she's going to get hurt (yet he doesn't inform Jenny about David's true status).
  • SPOILER ALERT: Jenny discovers, via addressed letters found in David's glove box, that he's married. He says he can get a divorce, but Jenny isn't happy, and wants him to be the one to tell her parents, but he ends up driving off rather than do that. She later goes to his house and runs into his wife and child, with the wife realizing Jenny is the "other woman." That wife asks Jenny if she's in the "family way" (she isn't), adding that's happened before (presumably meaning with David).
  • Jenny has a belittling attitude toward both Miss Stubbs and the Headmistress regarding dropping out of school to marry David vs. following in their footsteps, with her thinking the former will give her a better and more fulfilling life.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What are you, a Teddy boy?" "You'll be the wandering Jew," "That makes you a cow" (said playfully), "Oh, crikey," "Oh bloody hell," "You don't want to get preggers," "Wherever the hell we were," "We liberated it," "Don't be bourgeois," "Stats" (older women afraid of black people), "What the hell are those?" "Shut up, you stuck-up old cow" (said playfully) and "A complete bastard."
  • Some girls in Jenny's school are shown walking with books balanced on their heads as part of their training.
  • After Graham waves to Jenny, some younger boys making joking kissing sounds and gestures toward her. They later make fun of Graham in another scene (for liking Jenny).
  • David lies to Jenny's parents about personally knowing C.S. Lewis, all to manipulate them into letting Jenny go to Oxford with him. Later, David writes a fake note and autograph inside a copy of a Lewis book to complete the ruse.
  • David and Danny hit a badminton birdie around inside a house while waiting for Jenny and Helen to be ready.
  • Jenny loses her virginity to David, purposefully waiting until her 17th birthday to do so.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A singer in an upscale club sashays around a bit in a strapless dress. She sings a song that has non-explicit lyrics about "When we kiss" followed by "When we touch."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 hells, 2 uses each of "Oh God" and "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "God," "Good God," "My God" and "Oh for God's sakes."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • David states there's so much he wants Jenny to see (meant non-sexually), with Danny and Helen snickering about how that sounds (meaning sexually on their part).
  • A singer in an upscale club sashays around a bit in a strapless dress. She sings a song that has non-explicit lyrics about "When we kiss" followed by "When we touch."
  • Some classic artwork shows a nude man and woman in a partial embrace. One bare breast is seen, while a fig leaf or something similar is over the man's crotch.
  • A classic painting shows a woman's bare butt.
  • Helen asks Jenny if she has a pretty enough nightie (for spending the night with David). Jenny is surprised, and states that she thought she and Helen were sharing a room. Helen then asks if Jenny hasn't slept with David and she says no, with Helen saying that's good since Jenny doesn't want to get "preggers." Jenny then says she plans on waiting until she's 17 to lose her virginity, with Helen asking if that will be with David, and Jenny then realizes it probably will be.
  • Jenny and David share a hotel room, with her coming out in a nightgown and him sitting on the bed. She informs him that she's a virgin and intends to stay that way until she's 17. He says that's both good and right, but then asks if they can still be romantic. She says yes, as long as they don't (she doesn't complete the "have sex" comment), and he agrees. But he then asks if he can have a look and peek. She replies, "You just want to see them?" and he says yes, prompting her to lower her nightgown and bra, giving him a view of her bare breasts (we don't see them as the camera is behind her). He smiles at what he sees, but then pulls her bra straps and nightgown back up.
  • Jenny and David briefly kiss a few times in his car.
  • Talking about losing one's virginity but never saying those words, the Headmistress comments on girls losing things while at her school, and that if that happens to Jenny, she'll have to go elsewhere.
  • David and Jenny enter a hotel room and she notes there's no bed. He replies that it's a suite, and she replies that she thought of all nights (meaning when they're planning to have sex for the first time) they'd only need a bed. Later, we see them in bed under the covers (we see bare shoulders), doing some light kissing, and we're led to believe they've had sex, but he gets up (shirtless, but still wearing long pants, while she's in a nightgown), leaves the room for a moment and then returns with a banana. He says he thought they might start with that, adding to get the messy part over, but she replies that she's not losing her virginity to a piece of fruit. She then says that the mood is gone, but adds that if "it" happens tomorrow night, it will only be once. He's confused (thinking she's saying they'll only have sex once in total forever), but she clarifies that by saying there's only one first time and thus she doesn't want any baby talk and wants him to treat her like an adult.
  • We see David (in bed, shirtless) and Jenny (standing in her nightgown, smoking), post-sex. He asks if she still feels like a school girl (after losing her virginity) and she says no, adding that it was only uncomfortable in the first bit. But she then comments on all of the poems and songs written about that when it's something that's over so quickly.
  • Realizing she's involved with an older man, Miss Stubbs asks Jenny if she's taking precautions (to avoid pregnancy). Jenny defiantly says it's not about that (sex), but Miss Stubbs says it is.
  • About David having proposed to Jenny, Marjorie asks if she has a choice or if it's too late (meaning she wonders if she's pregnant).
  • SPOILER ALERT: Jenny discovers, via addressed letters found in David's glove box, that he's married. She later goes to his house and runs into his wife and child, with the wife realizing Jenny is the "other woman." That wife asks Jenny if she's in the "family way" (she isn't), adding that's happened before (presumably meaning with David).
  • SMOKING
  • Jenny smokes more than 5 times, Danny smokes at least 5 times, David and Helen smoke a number of times each, Marjorie smokes twice, Jenny's girlfriends each smoke a few times, and some miscellaneous smoking also occurs.
  • Upon first meeting, David offers a cigarette to Jenny, but she says she shouldn't since they're close to where she lives.
  • About things Jenny says she'll do in the future, one is smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jack rants (in a comedy fashion on the part of the film) about how expensive Jenny's education and other things are.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Jenny discovers, via addressed letters found in David's glove box, that he's married. He says he can get a divorce, but Jenny isn't happy, and wants him to be the one to tell her parents, but he ends up driving off rather than do that. She later goes to his house and runs into his wife and child, with the wife realizing Jenny is the "other woman." That wife asks Jenny if she's in the "family way" (she isn't), adding that's happened before (presumably meaning with David).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Falling prey to the temptation of an easier and seemingly better life rather than working hard to achieve that.
  • David says he went to the "university of life" and jokes that he didn't get a very good education there.
  • Jack rants (in a comedy fashion on the part of the film) about how expensive Jenny's education and other things are.
  • The literary-based comment that action is character.
  • Losing one's virginity.
  • David proposes marriage to Jenny despite their age difference (especially her just having turned 17).
  • About David proposing to her, Jack says that means she now won't have to go to Oxford, but she then asks why she's been working so hard with her schooling and such.
  • After Miss Stubbs tells Jenny that work is hard and boring, Jenny asks why she would want that (rather than being a pampered wife to David with access to the finer things in life).
  • Danny isn't happy about David and Jenny being engaged as he's worried she's going to get hurt (yet he doesn't inform Jenny about David's true status).
  • Career opportunities in the early 1960s for women in England.
  • Jenny stating she feels old but not wise from what she's experienced and learned.
  • VIOLENCE
  • None.



  • Reviewed October 26, 2009 / Posted October 30, 2009

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Breakthrough] [The Curse of La Llorona] [Penguins] [Teen Spirit]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2019 Screen It, Inc.