An Education is a film that tries to be powerful by not overtly being powerful, and I like that about it. I do think, however, that somewhere along the line the message it’s trying to send gets lost in the naïve fun we’re allowed to have while traveling with our characters. The director Lone Scherfig feels fresh this time around, even though this is by no means her first effort. Many of her work are of the Danish variety, but her last “US” film (if you can call it that) was the drop-deadpan funny Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself. An Education is not quite on those same lines, instead dealing with familial relationships in a superbly understated time warp.
Everything about the film tricks you and works around your common sensibilities. Scherfig and author-turned-screenwriter Nick Hornby work hard to make the obvious sneak up on the audience when they actual expect it to happen. Its masterful storytelling in a filmic sense when in reality Scherfig and Hornby know that their audience is intellectual more than likely. They are not going to be easily put upon; they know something is set to happen, and only will be validated in their knowing when the filmmakers’ decide it so. I love that kind of power and confidence in a filmmaker.