Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

An Education 2009

Directed by Lone Scherfig

Carey Mulligan’s enchanting performance in this early-60s getting-of-wisdom tale is one of the wonders of the year. Adapted by Nick Hornby from Lynn Barber’s memoir and directed by Lone Scherfig (Italian for Beginners).

UK In English
95 minutes 35mm / CinemaScope



Finola Dwyer
Amanda Posey


Nick Hornby. Based on the memoir by Lynn Barber


John de Borman


Barney Pilling

Production designer

Andrew McAlpine

Art director

Ben Smith

Costume designer

Odile Dicks-Mireaux


Simon Willis


Paul Englishby


Peter Sarsgaard (David)
Carey Mulligan (Jenny)
Alfred Molina (Jack)
Dominic Cooper (Danny)
Rosamund Pike (Helen)
Olivia Williams (Miss Stubbs)
Emma Thompson (headmistress)
Cara Seymour (Marjorie)
Matthew Beard (Graham)
Sally Hawkins (Sarah)


Sundance, Berlin, Sydney 2009


Audience Award (World Cinema Drama), Sundance Film Festival 2009
Cinematography Award (World Cinema Drama), Sundance Film Festival 2009


“A celebration of intellectual curiosity and personal adventure through a portrait of [a] 16-year-old English girl's questionable romance with a man twice her age, An Education is a wonderful film. As a serious student in love with all things French who can't wait to shake off the constraints of her sheltered suburban London upbringing, circa 1961, Carey Mulligan shines in a captivating performance. Lone Sherfig's emotionally pulsing, culturally observant picture simply bursts with life... Based on a memoir by British journalist Lynn Barber, Nick Hornby's droll, insightful script deftly captures the inner life of a cloistered girl selectively aware of the pleasures, both brainy and sensual, awaiting in the larger world, but who remains restricted by her blinkered parents in Twickenham and the constraints of a strict girls' school...
The film puts great stock in the value of experience, of tasting what life has to offer, of gaining wisdom through trial and error. There are many reasons – legal, moral and ethical – to object to David's [the older man played by Peter Sarsgaard] opportunistic treatment of his impressionistic young charge. But the film assumes the perspective of its protagonist, that, David's deceptions notwithstanding, he has been someone very much worth knowing for his wit, intelligence and sense of fun. And this is a film that is nothing if not fun.” — Todd McCarthy, Variety

“An almost painfully perfect recreation of early-60s London – before it really became 60s London, that is... This is marvelously well-constructed period entertainment with a feminist bite.” — Andrew O'Hehir,