INNOCENCE OF THE YOUNG.
London, 1961; 16-year-old Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan) meets an older man (Peter Sarsgaard) who takes her places and treats her to beautiful things, but she realizes that he has secrets. Danish director Lone Scherfig’s first international film has a title that pretty much sums the story up. Based on Lynn Barber’s memoir, this very entertaining and elegant experience balances between teenage naiveté and insights into how 1960s women really weren’t expected to do anything with their education. That frustration is perfectly mirrored in Mulligan’s character and this is an outstanding breakthrough for her. Nick Hornby’s dialogue and a sense of humor are frosting on the cake.
2009-Britain. 99 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey. Directed by Lone Scherfig. Screenplay: Nick Hornby. Story: Lynn Barber. Cast: Peter Sarsgaard (David Goldman), Carey Mulligan (Jenny Mellor), Alfred Molina (Jack Mellor), Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike, Olivia Williams… Emma Thompson, Sally Hawkins.
Trivia: Orlando Bloom was allegedly considered for a role.
BAFTA: Best Actress (Mulligan).
Quote: “It doesn’t have to be teaching. There’s always the Civil Service.” (Thompson on Mulligan’s career options)
Last word: “The story is short, so [Hornby] fleshed it out. There are a couple of characters that are his, especially the teachers, but the structure and a lot of the details are actually in her original piece. I think he’s given it a tone that’s definitely Nick Hornby — and jokes, too. He’s really humorous. [Lynn] says that Alfred Molina’s role (as Jenny’s dad) is a lot more sympathetic than she had imagined. I hope we have added something as well. It’s just layer upon layer, and as long as we’re telling the same story — a group portrait of a girl and the people her surrounding her, particularly David … the more time we spent on it, the more time [it was] in this development situation, the more detail you see, the more contrast and the more integrity.” (Scherfig, Hulu)