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An Education: The Shooting Script

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From the New York Times bestselling author, the shooting script to his award-winning film, with an original Introduction and vivid stills from the movie. Jenny is a 16-year-old girl stifled by the tedium of adolescence; she can’t wait for her sophisticated adult life to begin. One rainy day her suburban existence is upended by the arrival of David, a much older suitor who From the New York Times bestselling author, the shooting script to his award-winning film, with an original Introduction and vivid stills from the movie. Jenny is a 16-year-old girl stifled by the tedium of adolescence; she can’t wait for her sophisticated adult life to begin. One rainy day her suburban existence is upended by the arrival of David, a much older suitor who introduces her to a glittering new world of concerts, art, smoky bars, urban nightlife, and his glamorous friends, replacing her traditional education with his own version. It could be her awakening or her undoing. This edition of Hornby’s adapted screenplay, which includes stills from the film, is a perfect accompaniment to the highly anticipated movie, which stars Carey Mulligan as Jenny, Peter Sarsgaard, Emma Thompson, Dominic Cooper, and Alfred Molina. It is a must-have for fans of Hornby’s novels, featuring his signature pitch-perfect dialogue, mordant wit, and the resonant humanity of his writing.


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From the New York Times bestselling author, the shooting script to his award-winning film, with an original Introduction and vivid stills from the movie. Jenny is a 16-year-old girl stifled by the tedium of adolescence; she can’t wait for her sophisticated adult life to begin. One rainy day her suburban existence is upended by the arrival of David, a much older suitor who From the New York Times bestselling author, the shooting script to his award-winning film, with an original Introduction and vivid stills from the movie. Jenny is a 16-year-old girl stifled by the tedium of adolescence; she can’t wait for her sophisticated adult life to begin. One rainy day her suburban existence is upended by the arrival of David, a much older suitor who introduces her to a glittering new world of concerts, art, smoky bars, urban nightlife, and his glamorous friends, replacing her traditional education with his own version. It could be her awakening or her undoing. This edition of Hornby’s adapted screenplay, which includes stills from the film, is a perfect accompaniment to the highly anticipated movie, which stars Carey Mulligan as Jenny, Peter Sarsgaard, Emma Thompson, Dominic Cooper, and Alfred Molina. It is a must-have for fans of Hornby’s novels, featuring his signature pitch-perfect dialogue, mordant wit, and the resonant humanity of his writing.

30 review for An Education: The Shooting Script

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    I picked this book up for two reasons: 1)Because it was Nick Hornby and I'd buy his grocery list if it came with a 30 page forward about how and why he chose the items on his list; and 2) it was $4 in the bargain rack at Barnes & Noble, and I had a gift card. It's basically just the screenplay for the film of the same name, with a foreward describing Nick Hornby's process in both being approached to write a screenplay for the first time, and how it differed from his usual approach to writing. I picked this book up for two reasons: 1)Because it was Nick Hornby and I'd buy his grocery list if it came with a 30 page forward about how and why he chose the items on his list; and 2) it was $4 in the bargain rack at Barnes & Noble, and I had a gift card. It's basically just the screenplay for the film of the same name, with a foreward describing Nick Hornby's process in both being approached to write a screenplay for the first time, and how it differed from his usual approach to writing. It was interesting and insightful, and also included an outsider's perspective on Sundance. It was neat and worth the read. The screenplay itself was good. It was an interesting story, well told, and although I've not seen the film (I have a newborn baby at home, and these days I pretty much don't see anything anymore, in theaters or DVD), I do plan on seeking it out at some point down the line. I like Peter Sarsgaard a lot as an actor, and I think he probably did a lot with the role that probably can't be translated on the page. It's a breezy read (I finished it in a couple of days without devoting much time to it other than commuting on the train and just before bed) and is a nice change of pace from novels. Would I have paid more than $4 for it? Probably not, but if you can pick it up on the cheap, it's worth a read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    I love Nick Hornby. I also love this movie. Clearly, this book was lovely.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Mullarkey

    When a colleague told me we’d gotten this screenplay and that we now own the book, the screenplay and the movie I thought it would make a great choice for our Book Into Film series. For no reason I can fathom, I read the screenplay before the memoir. It was wonderful, witty and fast and a bit heart-breaking. After the screenplay I watched the film and was pleased to see that Lone Scherfig had captured all of that and the wonderful style of 1960s London. Charmed by both the screenplay and the film When a colleague told me we’d gotten this screenplay and that we now own the book, the screenplay and the movie I thought it would make a great choice for our Book Into Film series. For no reason I can fathom, I read the screenplay before the memoir. It was wonderful, witty and fast and a bit heart-breaking. After the screenplay I watched the film and was pleased to see that Lone Scherfig had captured all of that and the wonderful style of 1960s London. Charmed by both the screenplay and the film I turned to Lynn Barber’s memoir. I knew that it covered her entire life and not just the one chapter on which the film was based. Encountering Barber’s direct prose and unembellished style I saw how a relatively short chapter could become a feature-length film. But what surprised me was how different the stories were. Hornby said in his introduction to the screenplay that he wanted to change the names of the leads to allow him some license with the story. But he took such license that I am not sure I would have recognized the story if I’d read them in the other order. There were certain moments that were lifted straight from Barber’s narrative and I could follow these like beads on a string. Still, I know why the opening credits say the film was “inspired by” Barber’s memoir. Nevertheless, it was not so distracting that I couldn’t enjoy the book. Barber has led quite a life. Every era was fascinating from her child hood as the daughter of an elocution teacher through her young adult life as a party girl at Oxford and into her journalism career which took her from Penthouse to writing sex manuals and finally to writing for The Independent and Vanity Fair. Not every chapter is fun or funny, but each resonates with emotion and the excitement of a life fully lived. The story on which the film is based is simply another entertaining chapter in an engrossing story. In the end I would say the best thing I did when reading these two was to read them in the order I did. As different as the screenplay is from the memoir I think I would have been disappointed if I became attached to the real Lynn Barber and then saw her life turned inside out for the film. But reading the screenplay first, I could enjoy Jenny and David’s story and then meet Lynn as her own person. And given that, I would recommend them both and encourage readers and viewers to save the memoir for after the screenplay and film.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carla Jane

    As it's a script i flew through this, forgot how much I liked this screenplay and film, I need to watch it again!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Letizia

    I found this screenplay mildly interesting. It explores the first experiences of a sixteen-year-old girl who wants to live life to the fullest but is constantly pulled back by the restraints of middle-class society, back in the 60s. At least until she meets an attractive stranger (or as Woody Allen would say "a tall, dark stranger") who seems able to give her exactly what she desires. Light reading (well, it is a screenplay after all). It's okay if you don't have nothing better on the shelf, if I found this screenplay mildly interesting. It explores the first experiences of a sixteen-year-old girl who wants to live life to the fullest but is constantly pulled back by the restraints of middle-class society, back in the 60s. At least until she meets an attractive stranger (or as Woody Allen would say "a tall, dark stranger") who seems able to give her exactly what she desires. Light reading (well, it is a screenplay after all). It's okay if you don't have nothing better on the shelf, if you ask me. Otherwise, not really worth your time. Even if it comes down to less then a couple of hours.

  6. 4 out of 5

    SHUiZMZ

    An enjoyable screenplay and I am looking forward to watching the film now.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beatrice

    "It's funny though, isn't it? All that poetry and all those songs, about something that lasts no time at all." "An Education" is one of my favorite movies, so when I found the script in my local library I literally gasped. I found this screenplay to be everything I appreciate in movies... funny, witty, deep and implicitly teaching a lesson. Jenny's coming of age story is still valid in the XXI century. Also, I really loved the first part about how the screenplay was written and how the final cast "It's funny though, isn't it? All that poetry and all those songs, about something that lasts no time at all." "An Education" is one of my favorite movies, so when I found the script in my local library I literally gasped. I found this screenplay to be everything I appreciate in movies... funny, witty, deep and implicitly teaching a lesson. Jenny's coming of age story is still valid in the XXI century. Also, I really loved the first part about how the screenplay was written and how the final casting was decided. I am a movie buff, sorry.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maya Mudambi

    Nick Hornby is in a group of writers whose voice I have internalized to the point that reading their work - regardless of objective 'literary quality', to be perfectly honest - feels like listening to an old friend. So of course I loved this. I've seen the movie before, and mistakenly thought that this was a novella from which the screenplay was adapted. Apparently no such book exists, and what I had bought from Amazon was the screenplay itself. I've never enjoyed reading plays (or poetry for tha Nick Hornby is in a group of writers whose voice I have internalized to the point that reading their work - regardless of objective 'literary quality', to be perfectly honest - feels like listening to an old friend. So of course I loved this. I've seen the movie before, and mistakenly thought that this was a novella from which the screenplay was adapted. Apparently no such book exists, and what I had bought from Amazon was the screenplay itself. I've never enjoyed reading plays (or poetry for that matter- I just like straight prose), so was pleasantly surprised at how readable this was, and how much Hornby's voice comes through.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Utti

    Actually, when I decided to buy this book I didn't really understand it was a screenplay. It was a choice "nick hornby"-driven :) But in the end I couldn't stop reading, the story of Jenny was so simple and at the same time so complicated that I was really looking forward to find out what was going on. Enjoyable

  10. 5 out of 5

    Liv

    I haven't seen the movie (I know, I know), but this was a very quick, simple read. Nothing too dramatic, just a 16 year old girl trying out new things. What a weird guy though. Also, her parents were a little daft, no? Something very melodic about the style though.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sofie

    Interesting to know what goes into the making of a indiefilm like this.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marina Morais

    Okay, so the script in itself is great, but I can't just go along with this Lolita bullshit. That's why I can't go past 3 stars. Of course I knew what the story was, I saw the film years ago, but still. I don't usually read prefaces, but this one was 40 pages long and consisted of Nick Hornby's description of the whole process of writing, producing and selling the film, so I gave it a go. Regardless of his sounding like your regular self-centred author who thinks he's the brightest person in the Okay, so the script in itself is great, but I can't just go along with this Lolita bullshit. That's why I can't go past 3 stars. Of course I knew what the story was, I saw the film years ago, but still. I don't usually read prefaces, but this one was 40 pages long and consisted of Nick Hornby's description of the whole process of writing, producing and selling the film, so I gave it a go. Regardless of his sounding like your regular self-centred author who thinks he's the brightest person in the world, I really enjoyed learning about the process of making a film in the UK, especially since I'm not that familiar with the British film industry and he made it look like it's very similar to the Brazilian film industry. Also, he's Nick Hornby, he's really good with written insights like this one: "... it's salutary to be reminded that what one thinks of as personal taste, an aesthetic that has taken years to achieve, is actually little more than the inevitable product of being born in a certain place at a certain time." Like I said before, I hate these romantic paedophile relationships we sometimes come across in books and films. I remember not liking the film as much as I thought I would when I watched it in 2013, but reading it now I think I've changed my mind. Though I still despise her getting involved with David, I liked Jenny's character much better than I did 4 years ago. She blames her parents for letting her get involved with David, and you know what? She's right. I know it's not intentional and I know it's the beginning of the 1960's, but she was 16 and they should have known better. Fortunately, they had done right before, forcing her into getting a good education and qualifying for a place in Oxford, so it's not like they ruined her life - they just almost sold her to an adult man who was twice her age. There's an alternative ending in the book. Hornby explains they decided to change it at the last minute. Well, they shouldn't. I hate it when there's absolutely no narration in the film up until the very end, when they need to tell the audience how it all ended, but can't make it into a proper scene, so an off-screen voice comes out of nowhere and settles it. Besides, the old ending brings this new, mature Jenny that has learned from her mistakes and become a sensible young woman without losing her sense of adventure. One more thing: I just love the printing in this edition. It looks as though it was all written with a fountain pen. Just beautiful. Nice smell, too.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stop

    Read an excerpt from an interview with Carey Mulligan, actress in the film adaptation of An Education at Stop Smiling Online British sensation Carey Mulligan is a poised, fearless and inventive 23-year-old actress. In Danish director Lone Scherfig’s An Education, set in 1961 London, Mulligan plays Jenny, a sophisticated, if somewhat dreamy 16-year-old schoolgirl who finds herself irrevocably succumbing to the mysterious charms of a Jewish aesthete (sharply played by Peter Sarsgaard). It’s a bravur Read an excerpt from an interview with Carey Mulligan, actress in the film adaptation of An Education at Stop Smiling Online British sensation Carey Mulligan is a poised, fearless and inventive 23-year-old actress. In Danish director Lone Scherfig’s An Education, set in 1961 London, Mulligan plays Jenny, a sophisticated, if somewhat dreamy 16-year-old schoolgirl who finds herself irrevocably succumbing to the mysterious charms of a Jewish aesthete (sharply played by Peter Sarsgaard). It’s a bravura performance that manages to be both emotionally charged and sharply unsentimental. Mulligan’s quick, emotional alertness and sexual precocity is staggering. In the film, she plays the part of a young Francophile. The novelist Nick Hornby adapted the story from the memoir of journalist Lynn Barber, and it has the free, spontaneous momentum of early French New Wave films

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I read this because I missed the film in theaters and am not a big fan of watching DVDs. The author's notes in the beginning are thorough and funny, and I enjoyed learning about the journey of the film and story. This is an easy read, and the characters are endearing. The best part of reading this is that you get to choose the ending - the ending as Hornby wrote it wasn't included in the film. I liked having the choice (the author's ending had more closure), but I liked the ending that the film I read this because I missed the film in theaters and am not a big fan of watching DVDs. The author's notes in the beginning are thorough and funny, and I enjoyed learning about the journey of the film and story. This is an easy read, and the characters are endearing. The best part of reading this is that you get to choose the ending - the ending as Hornby wrote it wasn't included in the film. I liked having the choice (the author's ending had more closure), but I liked the ending that the film went with better - it left us with a more clear idea of David. I was a little surprised at how gullible Jack was, but maybe he was just a nervous father. And a little more detail on Danny (how was he able to afford those paintings at auction? who was he really?) would have added to the story. A novelization might be worthwhile!

  15. 5 out of 5

    David Bril

    This is the screenplay to the award winning film An Education, which Nick Hornby happened to write. The story is about a young lady who falls in love with a cunning and slick young man who almost ruins her chance at living her dream, of going to a fancy school. Reading the screenplay was a real pleasure for me and it really enhanced my opinion on the film as a whole. Hornby was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for this work and it was well deserved and likely should have gotten the This is the screenplay to the award winning film An Education, which Nick Hornby happened to write. The story is about a young lady who falls in love with a cunning and slick young man who almost ruins her chance at living her dream, of going to a fancy school. Reading the screenplay was a real pleasure for me and it really enhanced my opinion on the film as a whole. Hornby was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for this work and it was well deserved and likely should have gotten the win over The Hurt Locker. I was never really into reading screenplays till I picked up the Hornby one's and because I enjoyed those so much and I see how much they enhanced my views on the film, I think Hornby might have started a new tradition for me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matt Miles

    I haven't seen this movie yet, but I want to now. Even without the nuance of performances, the solid writing and taut pacing kept my interest to the end, along with a respect for character that could so easily of been lacking in a story of this sort. It works as a cringe comedy, as a family drama, and as a historical drama of sorts. My only gripe was the ending, which resorted to a voiceover I thought was unnecessary and cliched. At least they didn't go with the alternate ending, which was just I haven't seen this movie yet, but I want to now. Even without the nuance of performances, the solid writing and taut pacing kept my interest to the end, along with a respect for character that could so easily of been lacking in a story of this sort. It works as a cringe comedy, as a family drama, and as a historical drama of sorts. My only gripe was the ending, which resorted to a voiceover I thought was unnecessary and cliched. At least they didn't go with the alternate ending, which was just as bad. However, it says a lot for the strengths of this screenplay that I had to get to the last page to find a weakness.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kerri F

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "Listen. If you’ve got any sense, you wouldn’t take a lift from a strange man. I am, however, a music lover, and I’m worried about your cello. So what I propose is, you put it in the car and walk alongside me." "I studied at what I believe they call the University of Life. And I didn’t get a very good degree there." "JACK Well, when will you be sure? You can’t let the grass grow under your feet, you know. Otherwise you’ll be at the back of the queue. JENNY (deadpan) I suppose so. I suppose the growing g "Listen. If you’ve got any sense, you wouldn’t take a lift from a strange man. I am, however, a music lover, and I’m worried about your cello. So what I propose is, you put it in the car and walk alongside me." "I studied at what I believe they call the University of Life. And I didn’t get a very good degree there." "JACK Well, when will you be sure? You can’t let the grass grow under your feet, you know. Otherwise you’ll be at the back of the queue. JENNY (deadpan) I suppose so. I suppose the growing grass would knock you off balance, and then you’d fall over, and by the time you picked yourself up, there’d be a queue."

  18. 5 out of 5

    Allison Renner

    A screenplay based on a memoir essay by Lynn Barber, adapted by Nick Hornby. I haven't seen the movie, but I'm kind of curious to, now. It's about a sixteen-year-old girl in England in 1962. She starts dating an older man, and it's how her family, friends, and teachers react. The ending was wonderful. The alternate ending was ehh - but that's why it was the alternate! It was a quick read - I read it in two hours, tops, so I'm curious how it would translate on screen - what moments would be expan A screenplay based on a memoir essay by Lynn Barber, adapted by Nick Hornby. I haven't seen the movie, but I'm kind of curious to, now. It's about a sixteen-year-old girl in England in 1962. She starts dating an older man, and it's how her family, friends, and teachers react. The ending was wonderful. The alternate ending was ehh - but that's why it was the alternate! It was a quick read - I read it in two hours, tops, so I'm curious how it would translate on screen - what moments would be expanded and made more important, etc.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    This book was engrossing filled with amazing writting and certainly worth the time to read it.. I completed it in one afternoon. Although it was short, it was full of emotion and meaning. We can all remember our young and innocent youth and nothing, NOTHING, should ruin that time in a person's life. Jenny is lead into a world that is so exciting and adult. Eventualy, even her parents believe she is making a good decision in spending time with David, who is a sauve sweet talker. By the end of the This book was engrossing filled with amazing writting and certainly worth the time to read it.. I completed it in one afternoon. Although it was short, it was full of emotion and meaning. We can all remember our young and innocent youth and nothing, NOTHING, should ruin that time in a person's life. Jenny is lead into a world that is so exciting and adult. Eventualy, even her parents believe she is making a good decision in spending time with David, who is a sauve sweet talker. By the end of the story, I was even convinced.

  20. 4 out of 5

    A.J.B. Johnston

    I had really liked the film and was interested to go through the screenplay. I found it eye-opening to see how little dialogue there actually is. Hornby's introduction is very funny, and he shares some interesting aspects about the process the idea and story took before it was eventually turned into a film. Very, very quick read, but worth it, if someone liked the film. It includes the script for an alternate ending to the one that ended up in the film.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I saw the trailer for Education twice (once in the UK and once in the States). Since the film does not open in my area until this Friday, I decided the read the screenplay as the next best thing. The dialog is delicious and the casting seems absolutely perfect so I am very much looking forward to seeing the words play out on the screen. If the film is not playing in your area, definitely read the screenplay and then wait for the DVD release.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Didn't realize it was a screenplay, from a memoir by a different author. But: what fun it must have been for the filmmakers to read Nick Hornby's directions and descriptions. The account of writing and developing a screenplay was great. And it's short: no more than 65 pages or so to frame the whole movie. He tried to avoid it being a "creepy Lolita" and handled an awkward story beautifully. Casting Alfred Molina as the father Jack was a big plus; I heard his voice as I read it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Evan Micheals

    This book briefly describes the process of getting a movie made and hobnobbing with stars once it has done so. Then it is the screen play. I had never read a screen play before, and it was surprisingly undescriptive. Obviously directors have a lot of freedom. This book was obviously an attempt to make a bit more profit from the success of the movie – I am glad I did not pay for it. It was easy to read, as Hornby is a skilled writer, and I like easy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Nick Hornby has written a very engaging screenplay and I'm looking forward to seeing the film. The casting seems ideal and Hornby's screenplay seems to have accurately captured 1960's London and the ideals of that time period. I particularly enjoyed the forward written by Hornby that prefaces the screenplay itself. It was interesting to hear how he happened upon the original memoir, and how this memoir eventually got produced and made into the film, "An Education."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Selena

    This was cute, I guess. Based on a memoir, so it really happened. I can't believe her parents. I liked the explanation of how a screenplay is made and I guess I'd like to see the movie. I like Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, and Emma Thompson if I feel ambivalent about Carey Mulligan. I liked other Nick Hornby books I've read more.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sy Ferrari

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the second time that the male charater has make me angry. As is happens on high fidelity, david is a very immature man that ruins a great opportunity of having a relationship with jenny, and even on the alternative ending, he shows up again after making that great mistake and proved to jenny he didn't change even after losing her.

  27. 5 out of 5

    David Allen

    Hornby's screenplay appears identical to the very good movie, without the visuals of course but with a few cute moments in the descriptions. The introduction and Sundance diary, written with the same casual wit as his Believer columns, are a bonus.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Wow... this was a great script by Nick Hornby about a much simpler time. 1960s Jenny barely avoids disaster as her HS boyfriend tries to lead her astray. Thank heaven we have moved past a tme where one wrong move could destroy a young woman's future.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    A fascinating screenplay about a teenage girl who falls in love with a much older man, including an especially insightful introduction from the author into the process of writing a screenplay and watching it become a movie.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This is a copy of the movie's screenplay, with Hornby's notes on its creation as well as his notes from Sundance. I still have never seen the movie, and I am glad I had a chance to read the screenplay first. But I do hope to see it eventually!

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