An Education was released in Canada on September 27, 2009 at the Edmonton International Film Festival. The cast includes Cary Mulligan, who is quickly making a name for herself, Peter Sarsgaard and Dominic Cooper. These are not exactly well accomplished talents, and the crowd that accompanies them are not household names either. But as a group they have pulled off something very interesting. In fact, the film has received a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance By A Cast.
The story is set in London in the 1960s. Who doesn't love a good British film? Jenny is a high school girl living with unsophisticated parents whose only goal in life is her admission to Oxford. But Jenny's plans are interrupted by the pursuit of a playboy twice her age, who is very comfortable thinking outside the box of social mores. To say more would qualify as spoiler material.
The SAG nomination is practically irrelevant when considering the film's Oscar potential, since the Academy does not have a category to honor a complete cast... and realistically, An Education won't win the SAG in that category either since the competition is fierce. However, SAG is often a good predictor of what the Academy will do, and the film received just the one nomination. If the film is nominated anywhere, it will be in the Best Actress category based on Mulligan's sharp performance. This year is a tough year to try to break into that group. SAG didn't go there, and it is a long shot indeed that Oscar will.
Last year Happy Go Lucky was the British film that I fell in love with. This year it is An Education. Oscar worthy or not, it's a great movie.