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AN EDUCATION

About The Film
The extent to which I never asked him questions is astonishing in retrospect – I blame Albert Camus…One of the rules of existentialism as practised by me and my disciples at Lady Eleanor Holles School was that you never asked questions. Asking questions showed that you were naïve and bourgeois; not asking questions showed that you were sophisticated and French. I badly wanted to be sophisticated. Lynn Barber, An Education

"I'm still not entirely sure what it was about Lynn Barber's piece that had such a strong pull on me, but quite clearly there was one,” says screenwriter Nick Hornby. "I read it and gave it to my wife, Amanda Posey who is one of the producers, saying, ‘Look, there's a film in here.' She agreed and with Finola Dwyer, her fellow producer, started thinking about writers. I was aware that I was becoming envious – ‘what do you want that loser for!?' – that sort of thing. So I said I wanted to have a go at it.”

"I always thought I must remember at some point to write the whole story of my first boyfriend as I always thought it was extraordinary,” says journalist Lynn Barber of her brief memoir. "The only person I'd told was my husband because it was such a long and complicated story - you couldn't really just tell someone casually over dinner or something. It was almost like a secret I'd been carrying around with me.”

"Perhaps what drew me to the piece most of all was that Lynn Barber has a very strong, sometimes confrontational voice in her profiles so when I saw that she'd written about her early life, I thought, Ah, I'd like to know about that!” says Hornby. "People who read her have a lot of interest in her, but Lynn has always kept herself out of her journalism and I was fascinated to find out about this story.”

Hornby continues: "It was always going to be a long shot – adapting 10 or 12 pages in a literary magazine - but it really was a labour of love. I felt that I understood Jenny's life; I was a suburban boy and my parents didn't go to university. I liked the richness of the dilemma which is, in some ways, ‘life vs. education'. I used to be a teacher and it was something I ended up thinking about quite a lot. I was convinced that I could write a screenplay that would amplify Lynn's piece and make it interesting cinematically.”

Describing the period in which AN EDUCATION is set, all of the filmmakers are quick to point out that Britain hadn't actually started swinging in 1961. Four years on from Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's claim that ‘most of our people have never had it so good,' the average English family continued to lead buttoned-up, thrifty lives. Preoccupied as they were with changing social and sexual mores, most people were in no hurry to embrace them.

"Every time people talk about the Sixties, I want to scream,” says Barber. "The Sixties didn't actually start until around '63 or '64. It was still pretty drab before that.” Hornby quotes Philip Larkin's, ‘Annus Mirabilis':

Sexual intercourse began 
In nineteen sixty-three… 
Between the end of the Chatterley ban 
And the Beatles' first LP.

"For me, one of the points of the film and one of the attractions of the setting was that in 1962, we were still stuck in post-war austerity Britain,” says Hornby. "At the time, England was an extremely insular country, quite a poor country. The Second World War made America, and their ‘50s - those big cars and the rock ‘n' roll – were a product of doing well. Over there, it was all about Cadillacs. Here in Britain, we were still waiting for a bus.”

"I previously made a film which took place in Denmark in 1957 so I know something about the fear of excess, the shadow of the war and the very simple fantasy lives that people led then,” says director Lone Scherfig. "But of cour

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