An Education (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

An Education2009

An Education (2009)



Critic Consensus: Though the latter part of the film may not appeal to all, An Education is a charming coming-of-age tale powered by the strength of relative newcomer Carey Mulligan's standout performance.

An Education Photos

Movie Info

It's 1961 and attractive, bright 16-year-old schoolgirl, Jenny is poised on the brink of womanhood. Stifled by the tedium of adolescent routine, Jenny can't wait for adult life to begin. One rainy day, her suburban life is upended by the arrival of an unsuitable suitor, 30- ish David. Urbane and witty, David introduces Jenny to a glittering new world of classical concerts and late-night suppers. Just as the family's long-held dream of getting their brilliant daughter into Oxford seems within reach, Jenny is tempted by another kind of life. Will David be the making of Jenny or her undoing?

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Emma Thompson
as Headmistress
Olivia Williams
as Miss Stubbs
Cara Seymour
as Marjorie
William Melling
as Small Boy
Nick Sampson
as Auctioneer
Kate Duchene
as Latin Teacher
Bel Parker
as Small Girl
Luis Soto
as Rachman
Olenka Wrzesniewski
as Shakespeare Girl
Bryony Wadsworth
as Shakespeare Girl
Ashley Taylor-Rhys
as Petrol Attendant
James Norton
as Student
Beth Rowley
as Nightclub Singer
Ben Castle
as Nightclub Band Member
Mark Edwards
as Nightclub Band Member
Tom Rees-Roberts
as Nightclub Band Member
Arnie Somogyi
as Nightclub Band Member
Paul Wilkinson
as Nightclub Band Member
Phil Wilkinson
as Nightclub Band Member
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Critic Reviews for An Education

All Critics (197) | Top Critics (64)

This is a nostalgically elegant, comically restrained, cleverly scripted film which, in parts, is also extremely moving.

August 29, 2018 | Full Review…

One of the chief pleasures of Lone Scherfig's crisply confident and charmingly comic coming-of-age drama is in seeing a teenage girl kick against the pricks for a change.

July 6, 2018

This is a lovely, delicious film with fine acting and a unique plot.

January 16, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

What's good about Mulligan's performance is that it's subtle, and seemingly very natural. What's underwhelming about An Education is that all the drama that naturally occurs in a situation like Jenny's was missing.

September 11, 2017 | Rating: B | Full Review…

'An Education' is an knowing, affectionate portrait of a man who was surely the best and worst thing that ever happened to a girl who probably should have known better.

May 25, 2012 | Full Review…

You may think you know where the film is going, but its ecstasy and heartbreak will stick with you afterward. It's one of the year's best.

December 15, 2009

Audience Reviews for An Education


Good, but slightly disappointing as I really expected to love this one. Something about that character just annoyed the living crap out of me, I found her smug and a little upstart, and quite honestly by the time the story inevitably went to hell, it took me that long to feel anything for her at all. (And I do generally like Carey Mulligan in films). Peter Sarsgaard's character is just a sleazy conman and the pair have zero chemistry. While I can appreciate the idea of a young girl from a modest background who wants something more out of life than to get married and breed or have a dead end job in the town she was born in, this girl was really a little cow at times. So condescending and pretentious with her speaking in French etc. The only reason I eventually felt sorry for her was because I hated him so much more! It is not by any means a bad film, it is very well made and some beautiful scenery in France and also the 60's outfits. Just something with me personally found this grating. I wish I had liked it more. 2017 - rewatched this as I wondered if it was just my mood at the time - it really does seem like a character I could relate to. Nope. Still not into it. I think I loathed him even more the second time around and I still found her insufferable.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Has the heart at the right spot and comes with fine acting performances, especially by the great Molina and then-newcomer Mulligan but lacks a bit of punch. The plot burbles along without any major highlights until the final revelation. That's somewhat charming but also, sorry, a bit boring.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

A charming, provocative and, above all, mature coming-of-age drama with a simple yet morally complex story that never gives in to easy solutions - and, while the cast is wonderful, it is Carey Mulligan who definitely shines in a remarkable performance.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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