I thought An Education would be terribly worthy. I bought my ticket, thinking that it would probably be quite well made, and looking forward to seeing Carey Mulligan’s star making turn. I’ve always found Peter Sarsgaard remarkably watchable (if often creepy) and – well – its had good reviews. None of which had convinced me that it would actually be all that enjoyable.

It is more enjoyable than I expected, but its as if director Lone Scherfig knew the audience would be drifting in with a case of the worthies. Because the credit sequence, a jaunty piece of blackboard animation set to Floyd Cramer’s “On The Rebound” just shouts flippancy at you. Its such a carefree track that it completely disarms any pre-conceptions of the film being worthy and also leaves you with a sense of innocence that Mulligan’s Jenny will be constantly battling with.
Floyd Cramer – On The Rebound (’61).mp3

In the end the film really is rather lightweight, and consequences are glossed over on the whole. But then the film should be rather lightweight, Jenny’s concerns that going to University for a woman in the early sixties being pointless do have a ring of truth about them. And whilst it follows a classic seduction of the innocence line, it still manages to seduce us too as an audience (depsite the age difference between Jenny and David in the film, this is not a Lolita story).

The only other issue I had with the film is wholly hung around the time of year it is set. It starts midwinter, and she hasn’t applied for Oxford yet so she should be in her lower sixth (as she would apply at the start of her upper sixth). This also ties into her 17th birthday nicely. But this also means that dropping out and disgracing herself in her lower sixth should be no time bar to her application even if she is not allowed back into School. But then the film shows a (frankly laughable) study montage capped with her being accepted in a whole year later – well after the application deadline. It also restricts her trip to Paris to being before March, hence really much to cold to be picnicking on the banks of the Seine unless they get very lucky. AND THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER SEE A FILM ABOUT UNIVERSITY APPLICATIONS WHEN YOU KNOW SOMETHING THE PROCESS.

Ah, I know you lot just want to watch Sally Sparrow for an hour and a half. And An Education certainly delivers that. And if you don’t knw what On The Rebound sounds like: