This has to be one of my all time favourite films for a number of reasons. The first being Carey Mulligan. She simply wins me over as the character Jenny, particularly before she meets David (Peter Sarsgaard) as there such a sweet innocence about her. Another reason being is that I find myself as a person relating to this film in so many ways whether it be through the ideals and personality of Jenny in that she hopes to achieve her place at Oxford either for herself, or her Dad and even her teachers and peers. I often find myself striving to achieve goals much like how Jenny does in this film and wondering whether I am doing it for myself or for somebody else. But not only is that an issue, the actual storyline is realistic with Jenny being led astray by an older man she believes loves her only to find out he is a thief but also married with a number of affairs on his shoulder. All she wants is to have fun and to enjoy the education and the life that surrounds her to make her happy. There is that niggling feeling that arises and that is, what is the point in education, with it being "hard and boring", when it leads to a "hard and boring" lifestyle for the future? This film answers so many questions yet it still leaves it's audience questioning themselves.
As for the acting, Carey Mulligan is such a babe. I want to be this woman. She conveys a sweet and innocent sixteen year old perfectly, whose thoughts often turn to her future at University, moving to France and even losing her virginity on her seventeenth birthday. Sarsgaard and Mulligan's relationship on screen is awkwardly comfortable as it should be what with him trying to woo a girl half his age. Throughout the film there is the constant change of thought about his character David, differing from being loving to coming across as quite perverted, one scene being where he refers to Jenny as "Mini-mouse" and asks to see her breasts which made me feel rather uncomfortable. I have a lot of compassion for Jenny's character but it certainly goes to show not to listen to what your Dad thinks all the time and to follow your own choices. And I do not disregard David's character, even though what he did was wrong, as I have every belief that he loved Jenny, even saying "She's the one". Nonetheless Sarsgaard did an amazing job with this role. This was also, yet again, another film with Dominic Cooper and I have to say I hate his character in this as I have done in most other films I have seen him in. He tends to come across as a bit of sleaze in my opinion. But Mulligan ultimately steals the show with her British charm and amazing looks.
If you haven't seen this film, DO. It is such an eye opener and certainly an education into ones self.