Education, An

Director: Lone Scherfig
Year Released: 2009
Rating: 2.0

Achingly familiar young woman (Carey Mulligan) meets older man (Peter Sarsgaard) scenario that acts as (yet another) warning for naive teens to be on the lookout for the smooth-talking men and stick with boys their own age and books. This one takes the added step of placing a large chunk of the blame on the girl's clueless parents for being easily conned by Sarsgaard's unscrupulous lothario, allowing him to take her to Paris and propose to her without really questioning him in any way (when she eventually does confront them about it, the audience is supposed to cheer). The performances are what drive this - Sarsgaard keeps his role simple and guarded; Mulligan's enthusiasm at wanting to experience 'the world' is palpable - since the script offers little variety and even fumbles around with the third act 'revelation' (letters in the glove compartment). Emma Thompson makes the most of her few scenes as the school's headmistress/surrogate mother.