I finally got around to watching the film An Education. I loved it so much that I watched it again, and then again with director’s commentary, and then felt the need to write about it here.
First, there’s the story: who wouldn’t want to be whisked away from drab english schoolgirl life by the effortlessly and endlessly charming Peter Sarsgaard (who plays David)? and then, ohmigod, picnic on the Seine in Paris! What a dream – très chic!
Second, there’s the entire visual look to the movie. It surprises me that it didn’t get nominated for an Oscar specifically for costume design or cinematography. I thought the film was truly beautiful to watch and so impeccably and stylishly shot. And the costumes….
The movie takes place in a suburb of London in 1961, on the eve of a cultural revolution. The costume designer, Odile Dicks-Mireaux, created each character’s wardrobe using vintage dealers and costume houses. Only a couple of custom suits for the men were made for the film, and one gown worn by the singer in the Juliette’s restaurant/bar scene – which was inspired by the Dicks-Mireaux’s favorite Barbie doll when she was a young girl.
David: Do you go to concerts?
Jenny: No. We don’t believe in concerts.
David: Oh, I assure you, they’re real.
Another thing that was really great about this movie was the music and how it was used. I loved the scene where Jenny was supposed to be writing her essay, but instead she was laying on the floor singing along to Juliette Greco. She was dreaming of a life that could be for herself.
“you have taste. that’s not half the battle, that’s the whole war.” -Danny to Jenny
Jenny pre- David
Jenny meets David
and there’s fabulously chic dinners
While I adored Jenny’s transformation from wide-eyed 16 year old ingénue to sophisticated, Audrey-Hepburn-esque lady through wardrobe, I couldn’t help but really love Helen’s (the blond) outfits. She truly looked amazing in every scene. I totally would have petted her in her fur coat too.
I actually own a pillbox hat (inherited from my grandmother) made out of leopard just like the one Jenny is wearing below. I also find it hilarious that Jenny got just the hat – Helen totally one-uped her with the entire coat.
oh, yes, and then there was Paris….what a montage. le sighhhhh……
“So my choice is to do something hard and boring, or to marry my… Jew, and go to Paris and Rome and listen to jazz, and read, and eat good food in nice restaurants, and have fun! It’s not enough to educate us anymore Ms. Walters. You’ve got to tell us why you’re doing it. ” -Jenny