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My choice is to do something hard and boring for the rest of my life or go to New York and have fun.

I think that, if given the choice between these two options, most of us instinctively know what we would pick. In An Education director Lone Scherfig beautifully and honestly explores a sixteen year old girl’s coming of age in 1960s England where she has to choose between studying English at Oxford or leading a glamorous life with an older man. I thought it was brilliant how the film manages to capture the experience of youth at the elusive time when everything appears fresh, and you’re introduced to new music, ideas, art, culture, and begin to actively decide how you want to live your life. However, underpinning this newfound freedom and excitement is a sense of unease emanating from Peter Sarsgaard’s character. I would be surprised if most female viewers didn’t find him unbelievably charming, dashing and dapper, but you are continually left with the perception that something is not quite right. The precociousness of Carey Mulligan’s character and the somewhat seedy demeanor of Sarsgaard creates a tension that permeates the film and undercuts any naive illusions relating to growing up. For me, this film is a must see.

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