Paris in film: An Education

I didn't intend to watch An Education that weekend, but fate led me there...

Ever see a movie so awful, that you felt immediately compelled to rush out and watch another movie - a hopefully much better one - to cleanse your palate?

Well, it happened to me recently.  I watched the film "Gigantic" on Netflix - lured in by instant streaming and the ever-charming Zooey Deschanel.  Even she could not save this one.  I'm sorry, but I just don't understand this film.  If you love it, I'm sorry for insulting it.  If you haven't seen it, please don't see it out of curiosity and then blame it on me.

I was in a rather blue mood and it suddenly occurred to me that I had been wanting to see "An Education" while it was still in theaters.  I checked movie times.  It was starting in 20 minutes.  I hopped in my car and jetted off.

"An Education".  How to describe it?  It definitely cleansed my palate.  It was a slowly unfolding, well-made fully fleshed, simple story with subtle sophistication. It was set in the early 1960s, a time period I love.  And in England, a place, at least in stories, I love, complete with several sessions of tea and biscuits. It was a brilliant movie - but not in big fireworks of plot or action, but in little, real-feeling scenes and characters.  

It is not a "happy" film per se, in that Hollywood Disney sense, it is a serious, quiet drama - so if hearts and roses is your bag, I warn you stay away.

I was surprised but not unhappy to find that this film also has a Paris connection.  For the main character, Jenny, Paris comes to symbolize many things - an experience, an education, a dream come true, and a dream lost.

I love how the movie's idea is summed up in the title. This movie is so tight.  I think most people of thought have had some moment where they've received their own "education" - the moment that they shifted from a child to an adult - even if it's in your thirties or forties.  I wish I could share my moment, but it's only half mine to tell.

The movie touched on ideas I could wholly relate to... Book love, being the smart one in the class (at least the classes I was in), dreaming of Paris (again?!?), colorful dreams of the future, youthful naivete along with a good dose of girlhood foolishness, growing up, and learning to see the wisdom of elders you once mistrusted.

Not to mention the eternal question: "What WILL you do with that English degree?"


  1. O man I am so glad you liked this movie. I desperately want to see it I hear such wonderful things about it!

    Side note, I gave you an award on my blog :)

  2. I just found your blog today through fairytalehausfrau...WOW I read your manifesto and explanation of what boho means to you and took the 'are you boho?' quiz....I AM I followed your blog...always liking encouragement to be my true soul-self! I'm looking forward to reading more from you! Kathi

  3. I have been wanting to see An Education for awhile. And I am sad to have missed in at the theatre.
    I also have been asked the question numerous times: "What will you do with an English degree?"
    Work in a Library of course! :)

  4. I just watched it as well and loved it! The story was wonderful and the movie itself was visually pleasing!
    I also recently sold a pair of vintage peacocks just like the ones on the wall outside of Jenny's room! It made me sad I didn't keep them.

  5. I was just telling my husband that we should see this! And I agree with you about "Gigantic"--I actually bought it thinking I would love it, but no!!

  6. @Kathi - thanks for the kind words!

    @The Hausfrau - you poor thing, you and I suffered together through Gigantic. I question whether an overdose of cough syrup was involved in the making of that film. Oops, that's my naughty mean side sneaking out. But usually it doesn't have such a movie to inspire it to sneak out.

  7. I hear good things about this movie, I'll have to watch it.