Tuesday 22 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | 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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