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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Biopic > Biography > Coming Of Age > Britain > Relationships > An Education (2009/Sony Blu-ray)

An Education (2009/Sony Blu-ray)


Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: B-     Film: B-



Most coming-of-age films ring false, overly melodramatic and phony, but Lone Scherfig’s An Education (2009) is one of the few exceptions of late and fortunately received enough critical acclaim, including a Best Picture nomination from the Academy Awards.  A young woman named Jenny (Carey Mulligan) and older man named David (the underrated Peter Sarsgaard) fall for each other and the question is, will this work out or be a disaster.


Based on the writings of Lynn Barber, it turns out to be a nuanced story about the couple, the people around them and the time they meet.  Between Jenny’s father (Alfred Molina) and Headmistress she has at Oxford (Emma Thompson), the conformity and old ways can be stifling, yet she needs to be concerned about her long term future and David might not be able to give her everything.  He might even distract her from a better future if their relationship fails, yet he is very generous and does an amazing job of bringing her closer to happiness that her parochial, closed world can.


Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About A Boy) delivers his best screenplay to date, a smart, intelligent, highly realized work that is constantly real and interesting.  I was surprised how good this was when so much could have gone wrong and does not.  Of course, we still have seen this story before, but this take is impressive enough and the cast is a plus in this.  Olivia Williams (Below), Rosamund Pike and, Dominic Cooper (From Hell, The Duchess) also star.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot in Super 35mm by Director of Photography John de Borman (Last Chance Harvey) and it is a good looking film, but there is some very slight softness throughout that hurts the performance of this very good looking film.  The style is very slightly dark to show the time and its conformity, while color range is impressive.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix is even better, very warm and well recorded throughout.  For a dialogue-based film, ambiance and surrounds are healthy, plus Paul Englishby’s score is very good.


Extras include BD Live interactive features, two featurettes (The Making of An Education, Walking The Red Carpet), Deleted Scenes that are interesting and a feature length audio commentary by Scherfig, Mulligan and Sarsgaard.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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