"An Education" tells the story of sheltered 16 year old girl who is spirited away by a sophisticated 35 year old man. This film is one of my favourites. It's story is a loss of innocence and it tells the time old tale beautifully. The film is based on a memoir of British journalist Lynn Barber. I have yet to read the memoir despite the film being one of my favourites, but I thought that I should mention that in case anyone would want to know about the source material. Anyway, back to the film. Amidst Jenny (Carey Mulligan) being romanced by her future and the possibilities within her for her life, she is surrounded by some beautiful scenery (Twickham and the scenes in Paris) and some fantastic styling. The film takes place in 1961 and that is so obvious from the wardrobe that Jenny dons when she has spent enough time with David (Peter Sarsgaard) and his friends (Rosamund Pike and Dominic Cooper). Jenny also happens to be blessed with perfect hair. I cannot tell you how many blogger friends of mine and myself yearned to have Jenny's haircut. And then her styling. Even in her uniform she shined above everyone else. Then we get Jenny in gorgeous A-line dresses and streamlined mod-inspired dresses with gorgeous prints and suddenly, my friends and I are falling over ourselves to try and embody the class and youthfulness that Jenny has. But even before then when Jenny is wearing button-ups and skirts, knee socks, and cardigans, there is still something so inherently classy and wonderful about them.
Of course, in the film, we learn that even the prettiest things have thorns. Jenny becomes disillusioned with education (something I think myself and others share with her) and with the idea of "love". By the end of the film, Jenny learns that sophisticated and wealthy men are a beautiful lie and that she'd want nothing more than decent, straight-forward boys her own age that she'd want to marry and spend her life with. She receives "an education" from David, one that she doesn't look back on with regret but thankfulness. Because if it weren't for David opening up that door to sophistication and debauchery, she would have gone her whole life yearning for it.
The point I'm trying to make is that "An Education" is a beautifully done film. It's beautifully shot, the wardrobe and styling is on point, and the lesson in the film is a good one. We can't learn all of life's lessons in school and in books, sometimes you just need to live life and get it out of your system to know what's good for you. It's a cliche lesson but one that needs saying. This film is not only a style inspiration but it's also a literary and life inspiration to me.