Director: Lone Scherfig
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Olivia Williams, Alfred Molina, Peter Sarsgaard
Other: Cinematography: John de Borman; Screenplay: Nick Hornby from the memoir by Lynn Barber
Year and Running Time: UK 2009, 100 minutes
Year Screened: 2010
Carey Mulligan won Best Leading Actress BAFTA and was nominated for an Oscar.
Jenny (Mulligan) a bright 16 year old preparing to go to Oxford, egged on by her dull but ambitious parents, has a chance meeting with David a man twice her age, who introduces her to a far more glamorous and grown up world but one which may jeopardise her plans. Surprisingly her parents encourage the ‘friendship’ taken in by David’s charming ways. Set in the early Sixties this is a time when attitudes were changing from the certainties of the post war years and Jenny is on the brink of these changes desperate for a new way to live but not knowing quite how to go about achieving it. Although David’s world is appealing on the surface there is an underlying seediness that she chooses to ignore in pursuit of this different and more exciting world.
Mulligan is excellent as Jenny and received a well-deserved BAFTA for her performance managing to convey youthful innocence and her thirst for knowledge with a more mature understanding of the changes that are happening in the world and her need to play a part in them. Alfred Molina as her father conveys well a parent who is perhaps trying to live his unrealised dreams through his daughter and Olivia Williams gives a fine performance as her teacher who also is trying to realise her own ambitions through Jenny. Nick Hornby successfully adapts Barber’s memoir into a film full of insights, sparkling dialogue and wit.