Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Scene on Screen (a little late): An Education

I *totes* would have seen this movie sooner had I realized it starred none other than Sally Frakking Sparrow, the most adorable, charming one-episode-only Dr. Who character from the best-ever episode "Blink." But all the press photos have showed Carey Mulligan with her new, not-so-hot short haircut, and I didn't make the connection until a few minutes into An Education, when I had the feeling that I know that girl! Because Sally Sparrow is like a friend. I've practically memorized "Blink," and commented on many occasions in praise of the episode that I would eagerly watch a whole series about those brilliantly realized one-off characters.

Well, if you haven't see An Education yet, Mulligan's Sally Sparrow charm caries over to her role as Jenny (and everything else she does, I'm sure), a precocious English schoolgirl coming of age in the early 1960s who gets caught up in an ill-advised affair with an older man, Peter Sarsgaard. Nick Hornby (one of your favorite authors - you know - High Fidelity, About a Boy, Fever Pitch, etc.?) wrote a very clever script, and it's a delight to watch the protagonist's romance unfold and her newly unearned confidence turn to hubris, even as you realize it's completely doomed and a little skeevy to begin with. It's probably the bad romance element that makes this film so palatable to a skeptic like moi. Nevertheless, the tone is light, and there's plenty of laugh-out-loud lines, as well as truly touching moments, and tasty 60s fashion, so let's just call it the romantic comedy of the year. See it with someone you shouldn't ; )

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