Monday, December 21, 2009

dinner and a movie: An Education

Welcome to my Monday morning recap of my fabulous Friday night film at Spectrum 8 Theater and dinner at New World Bistro Bar!

The movie: An Education is based on Lynn Barber's memoir. Nick Hornby wrote the screenplay. Carey Mulligan is nominated for a Golden Globe for best actress (and many other acting awards). The entire cast is nominated for the Screen Actors Guild award. 

The barest of plot details: The film is set outside London in 1962. Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is sixteen, and one of the brightest students at her private girl's school. She wants to go to Oxford to read English literature. She meets a charming, friendly, older man. 

This film is perhaps the perfect coming of age story. Yes, I realize what a strong statement that is. Lynn Barber's story is not necessarily unique, yet it is a product of the time she was raised. Still, as someone who came of age in the 1990's United States rather than the 1960's Britain, it could have been my story. It is the perfect coming of age story because this dichotomy between uniqueness and everywoman-ness.

Carey Mulligan is fantastic, but Peter Sarsgaard was mesmerizing. He completely nailed the British accent; I immediately checked to see if he was, in fact, British. The entire cast is amazing, and the casting director deserves kudos as well. Rarely does one see a cast without a weak link. It's easily the best movie I've seen this year, and although there is some hesitation to such a bold statement, it is one of my favorite movies of all time. I'll see how well it stand up with time and multiple viewings, but this one is a modern classic. It's brilliant, moving, funny (Nick Hornby, remember) and immensely watchable and re-watchable. With the Oscars opening Best Picture to ten films this year, this one may have a shot at a nomination, and I hope it does. 

Seriously, it's the best movie I've seen this year. 

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5 stars)
Running time: 95 minutes
Go see it now: Here's a map of where it's playing.

Dinner: Once again, I forgot pictures (sorry!) For my appetizer, I enjoyed the green curry mussels. The Prince Edward Island mussels were steamed in a green curry, coconut and lime brother and topped with fresh herbs. They were spicy, flavorful, and absolutely delicious. For my entree, I had a Yucatan shrimp and pork posole. Posole is a white hominy stew, and this one had lime, roasted tomatoes, yucca, cilantro and chiles. It was a lovely meal to follow the best movie I've seen this year. 

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  1. This won't come to our teeny rural theater - but I'm going to add it to my Netflix queue for when it comes out on DVD. Great review!

  2. Now I really really want to see this!

  3. I have wanted to see this for a while, but didn't end up catching it in theaters. Nice to read such a glowing review!


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