|Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on October 20, 2010 at 10:50 PM|
AN EDUCATION **1/2
IDEA: A young woman in England plans to attend Oxford University, until a rich suitor comes along and shows her a far more glamorous and appealing side of life.
BLURB: Girl’s coming-of-age story in 1960s Britain is a frustratingly safe and typical foray, a mild, sometimes enjoyable diversion that ultimately succumbs to a facile conventionality. At a brisk 95 minutes, the narrative is rushed through in a manner that fails to lend traction to any sort of dramatic intrigue along the way, opting to take the easy way out more often than inspiring innovation or challenging drama. What it ultimately lacks – despite the enormously winning performances of charming lead actress Carey Mulligan and her education-obsessed father played by Alfred Molina – is bite. The movie is sporadically sweet, funny, at times even thoughtful, but it lacks the originality and inventiveness required to turn such a formulaic tale into something truly special. What it says about education is valuable; it is ultimately our life experiences that teach us the greatest lessons. I just wish it got to that message in a more substantial way.