Saturday, January 16, 2010

2009 - AN EDUCATION, well made, well written, nothing of a film

Since the arrival of the internet the claim "based on a true story" can now actually be verified after watching a film like this.

An Education is the supposedly true autobiographical story of a pretty, smart and precocious 16 year old girl who becomes involved with an older handsome con man.  The guy is such a piece of work, that he even cons her stupid parents into getting her to give up her dream of getting an Oxford Education.  At the last minute she discovers the truth about the guy dumps him and is able to live her dream of going to Oxford through her own resourcefulness, blah, blah, blah.

Back to the internet check.  The film is based on the life of a journalist named Lynn Barber and for the most part it follows her story fairly closely.  The problem it seems, is after spending some time reading about Lynn Barber,  she is kind of nasty and unpleasant woman.  Barber apparently holds a large grudge against the world and her parents in particular.  Even at the age of 66 she blames her now 90 year old parents for her involvement with the con man and doesn't take a whole lot of responsibility for what happened to her at age 16.

What actually happened to Lynn Barber, was that she basically screwed up her chance to get into Oxford by getting herself kicked out of her prep school.  The movie insists that she approached her teachers to get back in and because they always recognized how bright she was, they helped her out.

But real life is a little more messy than her fantasy ending.  Apparently her despised father ended up begging her principal to let her test for Oxford, and eventually ended up hiring private tutors to help her get into school, not exactly the self empowering ending of the film.  Life is a little more messy.

Even without the internet check, An Education is nothing special.  Just another "coming of age" film about a younger girl who gets involved with an older man, seen this one a million times before.

 100 minutes.

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