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Parents' Guide to

An Education

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Intelligent period drama tackles mature teen topics.

Movie PG-13 2009 95 minutes
An Education Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

Wonderful film!!

I fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it. Carey Mulligan's character Jenny is so likeable and sweet, trying to do what she thinks is right at the ripe age of becoming a woman. So many challenges, peer pressure and lessons she goes through before discovering her destiny. There is some iffy content, Jenny is 16 and sleeps with a man in his mid-30s. No real sex scenes (just off-screen) and some talk about losing her virginity to a banana. She takes off her shirt for a man but there's no nudity. Some sweet kissing. Jenny and her friends smoke french cigarettes in one scene. There is some social drinking. No violence except for some loud arguing. Excellent film with a great role model and good messages!
age 17+

Only for adults and maybe older teens

This is a disturbing movie about teen choices and disillusionment. I don't want to give away the movie, so I won't say much here. It is definitely not subject matter for young teens. At least 17+ is what I would feel comfortable with. Lots of hard lessons learned in the movie. The acting is first rate. Carrie Mulligan is absolutely Oscar worthy in this movie -- very gifted actress.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (10 ):

There are quibbles aplenty with AN EDUCATION -- Sarsgaard's wreck of an accent, to start, and a third act that attempts to wrap up too quickly to boot. But neither detracts from the period drama's considerable heft. This is a seriously good film. Nick Hornby, who wrote the screenplay based on a memoir by Lynn Barber, keeps the feel modern despite the 1960s setting (which is gorgeously rendered) with dialogue shot through the heart with essential truths.

And with Mulligan reciting Hornby's words, he can't lose. Watching her navigate the perils of near-adulthood is like an epiphany, and while Sarsgaard's accent is a throwaway, his acting isn't -- few actors can make creepy seem so appealing. Director Lone Scherfig presents London and Paris with a knowing glow -- Jenny is a firefly, and her wings, as we can only expect, will get scalded, if not burned. And yet we can't stop watching.

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