In the early 1960's, sixteen year old Jenny Mellor lives with her parents in the London suburb of Twickenham. On her father's wishes, everything that Jenny does is in the sole pursuit of being accepted into Oxford, as he wants her to have a better life than he. Jenny is bright, pretty, hard working but also naturally gifted. The only problems her father may perceive in her life is her issue with learning Latin, and her dating a boy named Graham, who is nice but socially awkward. Jenny's life changes after she meets David Goldman, a man over twice her age. David goes out of his way to show Jenny and her family that his interest in her is not improper and that he wants solely to expose her to cultural activities which she enjoys. Jenny quickly gets accustomed to the life to which David and his constant companions, Danny and Helen, have shown her, and Jenny and David's relationship does move into becoming a romantic one. However, Jenny slowly learns more about David, and by association ... Written by
Director Lone Scherfig says she experimented with giving the actors options during scenes. For instance, she told Peter Sarsgaard that if he felt like it he could start a conversation with an extra playing a doorman in one scene despite there not being any written dialogue. See more »
In an early scene when Jenny returns home the camera long shot of the street shows more modern 1970s/1980s light industrial buildings/roofs in the distance. See more »
Superb acting all round, wonderfully evocative 60's atmosphere, great story.
Overall, well done. The talented Carey Mulligan is definitely someone to watch as her career develops. She plays her role as mature, smart and savvy -- almost a bit more than was believable, considering the circumstances of the character. Her suave and worldly love interest is well played by Peter Sarsgaard, and the knot in your gut tightens as the story unfolds and you sense where it's heading. I loved the way Rosamund Pike played the girlfriend of Sarsgaard's business partner. Both she and the mother seemed to illustrate the razor's edge walked by women of the time who had to smile and pretend everything was fine even when it wasn't. So much of this movie shows women's struggle at many levels to claim choices for themselves that didn't involve sacrificing their intelligence, dignity, dreams or humanity. I think the story's initially smooth momentum becomes a bit choppy in the latter part of the film, which seemed not quite sure how to wrap up the story to a conclusion. Despite some shortcomings, the film is still definitely worth seeing.
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