Sunday 20 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · An Education' teaches different...

An Education' teaches different social studies in supple send-up to youth culture and rebellion

Kathryn Jenson White February 4th, 2010

A little learning is a dangerous thing, and a lot can be pretty damn devastating. That's certainly the case in Danish director Lone Scherfig's "An Education," which is built around a superb, supple sc...

A little learning is a dangerous thing, and a lot can be pretty damn devastating. That's certainly the case in Danish director Lone Scherfig's "An Education," which is built around a superb, supple screenplay by novelist Nick Hornby ("High Fidelity," "About a Boy") and carried by a stellar cast's consistently fine acting.

The film screens Thursday through Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. At the core of Scherfig's film is the theme that there is book learning and, then, there is life learning. The latter is a lot harder than the former, my grandmother often said, because life gives you the tests first and the lessons after.

That's certainly the case with very smart, very pretty, very 16-year-old Jenny (Carey Mulligan "Brothers"), who, attending a good private school in 1961 suburban England, yearns to escape her dull life and, in the words of Auntie Mame, "Live! Live!"

A glance at the historical context suggests that Jenny is not only Jenny, but a stand-in for a whole youth culture, especially females, poised to break free of long-standing restrictions and behavioral chains in what will become a social and cultural revolution.

Hovered over by anxious parents played well and movingly by Alfred Molina ("The Pink Panther 2") and Cara Seymour ("The Savages"), Jenny works to achieve what she thinks is their unimaginative dream: getting into Oxford. All she does, she does to look good on an entrance essay. She lives in the "someday," when she wants to carpe the diem now.

Offering her a ride as she stands with her cello in the rain comes the snake in this boring Garden of Eden, charming, 30-something David (Peter Sarsgaard, "Orphan"). Talking to her of composers and art, representing all the adult sexual freedom and cultural expansion she longs for, he offers her an apple she can't refuse.

As David lures Jenny on to broader and broader life experience, Mulligan shows us the vulnerability, the age-appropriate stupidity/innocence lurking just beneath the surface of the precocious sophistication. Mulligan, 20-something when shooting the film, is a good enough actress to make us see her as 16 going on 20-something.

She's a definite Oscar contender for this breakthrough role.

The reckoning must come, of course. Dance, and you'll probably pay that piper. When the bill comes due here, it elicits a swirl of emotions. Empathy, as we remember being that age and feeling that way. Admiration, as we watch Jenny's painful epiphany and response. Sympathy, as we see the nuances in Molina's fabulous portrayal of a parent feeling not only his own pain but his daughter's as well.

And those are just the beginning. There is humor in the film, but the tone of "An Education" couldn't be further from that of "Auntie Mame."

No matter. Throughout, I kept hearing softly in the back of my mind, Mame Dennis' signature assertion: "Life's a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."

Because she's only 16, Jenny mistakes empty calories for soul nourishment, but at least she shows the courage " and imagination " to take a bite and thrust herself onto the dance floor. "Kathryn Jenson White

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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