— by TOM ELCE —
A short clip from “An Education” has arrived to further suggest Danish director Lone Scherfig’s new film is an intriguing exercise in layered character study.
It shows lead character Jenny (Carey Mulligan) engaged in a nuptials-centered debate with Emma Thompson’s disapproving Headmistress, their heated conversation also turning towards the religion of Jenny’s much-older new love (played by Peter Sarsgaard), whose involvement with the teen girl seems to put her future at Oxford University in jeopardy.
It’s a sampling that’s not aesthetically or thematically rousing, but it does give a glimpse at the starring turn of little-known Carey Mulligan. Hers is the most talked about performance in the cast and of the movie whole, dubbed in numerous circles as this year’s breakout turn. Of course, a sight at the bigger, complete picture is needed to gauge whether this amounts to hyperbole in support of a decent performance or if Mulligan’s performance is genuinely great.
Lookswise, the 24-year-old has a bit of Audrey Tatou about her, Mulligan’s uncommon beauty immediately drawing your attention while her display in the given clip feels alive with an angsty passion even when we don’t quite feel we’re witnessing the mannerisms of a teen girl. Still, her character’s whirlwind romance with the older male takes her from innocent teen to cultured woman — so this moment in time (just over two minutes) is likely trying to convey that.
To stand out in a cast that also features notables like Alfred Molina, Sally Hawkins, Emma Thompson, Peter Sarsgaard and Rosamund Pike at least suggests some degree of specialty to Mulligan’s turn — though there’s always hoping those around her deliver, too.
“An Education” has been scripted by Nick Hornby, whose novels “Fever Pitch” and “About a Boy” have previously been adapted into successful screen efforts, and is based on the memoirs of Brit journalist Lynn Barber.
U.S. audiences can find out if Mulligan and “An Education” live up to expectations when it opens in New York and L.A. on Oct. 9.
Click here to see the movie’s review.
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