Adapted by Nick Hornby from a memoir of a British journalist, Lone Scherfig’s beguiling film An Education centers on Jenny, a clever 16 year-old high school student played by the talented Carey Mulligan.
Facing the pressure to pass exams and get admitted to Oxford University, she seeks to solve some essential but difficult puzzles in life—what the purpose of getting an education is and how to get the life she always dreams of.
Young Jenny longs for the exotic life and rich culture in France, which is dramatically different from her plain surroundings in 1960s suburban London.
While Jenny puts all her efforts into preparing for exams, she stumbles upon a mysterious, yet charming stranger who shows her a path to bypass all the hard, boring studies while still realizing her dream. However, disillusion soon shatters Jenny’s dream, and eventually she realizes there is no shortcut in life.
As the title suggests, this is a film about education. But education extends beyond the formal school system. It also refers to the experience and mistakes in life that one has to learn from in order to grow and mature. In the film, Jenny is not portrayed as a victim of a fraud, but an independent individual who thinks for herself—albeit not always maturely—and who makes decisions that are sometimes wrong.
What is encouraging and inspiring is that after the incident, she can finally decide what her education means for her and if it is truly worth the hard work.
With An Education and Wes Anderson’s Rushmore (1998), which we’re screening September 10 @ Artspace (378 Aylmer Street), we would like to start the new semester with the theme of education as a way to welcome new and returning students.
While An Education deals with the darker subject of dishonest relationships and crime, Rushmore gives a more humorous take on school life and education.
Please join us for a FREE screening of Lone Scherfig’s An Education, Wednesday September 3, at 8 pm in the Otonabee College Lecture Hall (OCA Room 203). Students and non-students welcome!