Mulligan shines bright, she may not be emitting eye burning light, but she surely is reflecting an enlightening one.
Scherfig, first and foremost, is a pacifist. One of the greatest asset of his film is to try and avoid striking horns possible. And with a family drama like such that spirals out huge rage spewing fights on the house, it gets fascinating to see Lone Scherfig talk his way out of this family dinner blunder for two straight hours. And the reason why it stays true to the tone of the film, is that he actually never confronts his fear and instead pulls out another or might even be superior card to walk his way out of the club. Let’s also give a round of applause for the screenwriter, Nick Hornby who has plucked engaging and informative highlight of Jenny Mellor’s life played beautifully by Carey Mulligan.
Enacting a confused teenager, her unflinching and blinding confidence in her belief, is what digs the appropriate depth in her performance. But I’d say, amidst all the spotlights focusing each characters, the most underrated performance is of Peter Sarsgaard, his calculative steps taken while pulling off the most bizarre mood swing and silliness in her professional coat is quite the challenge. Plus, as an actor, you are waiting for a role juicy as such and seizing the opportunity with all enthusiasm Sarsgaard holds tightly to the other side of the rope.
Pike and Cooper stays the part of the act, the distraction, but the surprising element who stands by through all the storm is Alfred Molina as a protective father who is fixing himself along with keeping her daughter in track. The political correctness that the film whips you with, never overpowers the quality of the film, in fact despite of being one of the major contender among the morality clause shouted out in the film, An Education is the final winner in this marathon; it was a tough call and a rough race.