Director: Lone Scherfig
Running time: 96 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A
UK Release date: 30th October 2009
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 15th May 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I remember this film getting quite a lot of critical praise when it came out and so I was intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. Of course it got nowhere near being shown in my local cinema and so I waited patiently for it to show on TV. A screenplay by Nick Hornby based on a memoir by Lynn Barber and set in London in the early 1960’s it has all the hallmarks of a decent production. You’ll be glad to know that I agree with the critics, yes, it’s pretty good. There were a couple of points where it could have gone off the rails, but fortunately it stayed on the tracks and we have a fine piece of work.
Jenny Mellor is a bright sixteen year old student whose parents have ambitions for her to study at Oxford University. She is slightly disenchanted with her lot though, and yearns to go out and experience the world while she is still young. By chance she meets David, a man more than twice her age, who recognises something in her and takes her to see the sights. Two friends of his, Danny and Helen come along and Jenny goes to concerts, sees art, dines in fine restaurants and even visits Paris. David does all this with Jenny’s parent’s permission, he is very persuasive. Of course all is not what it seems and her world is about to take a massive jolt and the many arguments she has made against conformity are about to be tested.
This is a very well made film which features a stand-out performance from Carey Mulligan as Jenny; she was really outstanding in the part. Peter Sarsgaard was suitably suave as David, as was Dominic Cooper as Danny. Both Alfred Molina and Cara Seymour did a good job as Jenny’s parents, Jack and Marjorie. Rosamund Pike played the part of the, rather dim, Helen very well and Olivia Williams did a very good job as Jenny’s teacher Miss Stubbs. Finally, a mention for Emma Thompson who had a nice cameo as the headmistress.
This film asks a lot of questions about how some parents try to control the lives of their children, although it’s not the main point of the story. I really liked the way it was written but I still felt one or two bits could have done with tidying up (I’m sorry, I can’t be specific – spoilers). Having said that, I did enjoy it very much and I really liked the ending. I would definitely watch it again sometime… Recommended.
My Score: 7.6/10