Friday AFF Preview: An Education

Coming-of-age tale brings the pre-swinging 1960s Britain to life.

Jenny (Carey Mulligan, a delight) is a 16-year-old in pre-Beatles suburban London, the cleverest one in her class and a good grade in Latin away from going to Oxford for university. She meets older man David (Peter Sarsgaard, more charm than smarm) who sweeps her off her feet, offering nights out, glamorous events, dinners and even trips to Paris. David even succeeds in impressing Jenny's parents (Alfred Molina, in permanent bluster mode, and Cara Seymour) but dowdy English teacher Miss Stubbs (Olivia Williams, whose bad specs are a sad effort to hide her looks) doesn't want Jenny to give up her dreams of proper school for an ill-advised dalliance. Thematically it's nothing new, but a real verve in the direction (by another former Danish Dogma director, Lone Scherfig) and Nick Hornby's script, adapting a memoir by Lynn Barber, makes for a solid, classy and crowd-pleasing film. It brings London in the '60s to life just as it begins to swing. An Education screens Friday night, 7pm at Park Lane 8, $10.

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An Education is not showing in any theaters in the area.

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