Nick Hornby Works Magic With Education

On a Sunday afternoon attending a 2:30 p.m. screening at the Regal Cinemas Union Square Stadium at 13th Street and Broadway, I found a near packed house that was sold out when the lights went down. The reviews of the film were excellent, but for a sold-out performance on a Sunday afternoon, the public drums voicing the movie's praises had to be working overtime. They were right to do so. This is a lovely, delicious film with fine acting and a unique plot.

Sixteen-year-old Jenny (Carey Mulligan), who lives in a London suburb, attends a private school and expects to go to Oxford the following year. She meets David (Peter Sarsgaard) in a torrential downpour who offers her and her viola a ride home. Thus begins a romance between a young girl and an older man in his 30s who, no matter how sweet and dazzling in personality, appears to be a grifter. 

Jenny's middle-class parents, Jack (Alfred Molina) and Marjorie (Cara Seymour) play their roles beautifully. They are devoted to her and very protective, particularly her father. Two friends of David, one a fellow grifter, Danny (Dominic Cooper), and his wife, Helen (Rosamund Pike), add a sophistication to every scene in which they appear. Danny looks his role of grifter with a touch of degeneracy, but the latter aspect only in appearance, not in any action. The film ends in a surprising way, totally unexpected after Jenny accepts David's marriage proposal, giving up her expected career which requires her attendance at Oxford.

The movie has a PG-13 rating, signaling a picture without sex or violence, which undoubtedly will keep some people away. I would say this is a unique film well worth your attendance, notwithstanding the several anti-Semitic reflections. An extra bonus is the presence of Emma Thompson playing the Headmistress at Jenny's school.

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Ed Koch was mayor of NYC from 1978 to 1989. He's credited with restoring fiscal stability to the city and creating affordable housing. He's also a film buff. More

Mayor Koch saved New York City from bankruptcy and restored the pride of New Yorkers during his three terms as mayor from 1978-1989. He restored fiscal stability by placing the city on a GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) balanced budget. He created a housing program that provided more than 150,000 units of affordable housing and created New York City's first merit judicial selection system. Prior to being mayor, Mr. Koch served for nine years as a congressman and two years as a member of the New York City Council. He attended City College of New York from 1941 to 1943. He was drafted into the Army his last year of college and served with the 104th Infantry Division. He received two battle stars and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1946. He received his LL.B. degree from the New York University School of Law in 1948 and began to practice law immediately thereafter. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP and hosts a call-in radio program on Bloomberg AM 1130 (WBBR). Mr. Koch appears weekly on NY1 television and is the author of ten autobiographical books.

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