An education

Carey kicks Nick Hornby's ass.

What a charming, lovable but vacuous film this is.

Carey Mulligan lights up the screen from start to finish and won the best supporting actress nomination that her outstanding performance may have deserved.

Likewise, Peter Sarsgaard is brilliant as the creeping ‘peado’ with a charm to bowl over Carey’s dad (Alfred Molina) and Mum (whoever she was – doesn’t really matter because she was crap).

To give this movie credit you have to look at the magic between Mulligan and Sarsgaard because apart from that it’s mostly awful.

Nick Hornby’s script cracks along at a right good pace for 70 minutes until it hits the white cliffs of Dover and then falls horribly to its death.  It looked like he couldn’t find a suitable ending and just gave up.  It reeked of pish and ham at the end.

The Continuity Dept was obviously on a holiday season because it’s rank (openng scene in the rain is on and off like an Icelandic volcano threat) and Alfred Molina is pathetically cast for two reasons.  Firstly he hams up his part and secondly he has a “jew ” problem about Sarsgaard despite being one of the UK’s most prominent Jewish actors.

It’s a mess.  It really is.  And yet; for 70 minutes I loved it.


She even blew the BAFTA’s away with the best dress of the night.  (And haircut. Ed.)

"that" dress.

A long way down by Nick Hornby


I missed the ‘release’ of this, mainly because I thought Hornby’s early promise had run out of steam.  ( I loved Fever Pitch and liked Hi Fidelity.)  He seemed to be becoming a bit ‘four weddings and a funeral’ for my liking and the snob in me saw him selling out.

His “about a boy’ book was kind of pish really.

But I picked this up in a charity shop and it sat in the pile for a while before I decided to read it.

It’s overrated, I have to say that to start with.  It will win no literary prizes , but the critics seem to hold Hornby in some sort of thrall.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that actually if you ignore the startlingly unbelievable critical tosh it’s rather good on a simple storytelling level.

It has no great insights on life (or death) but it is a good read and Hornby creates four distinct characters; two of which work very well (the comedic ones ) Jess and Martin; one who nearly gets there but is underdeveloped (Maureen); and one that’s just a bit crap (JJ).

And yet, still, it works.  I liked it on the whole.  Quite a lot actually.

Maybe I liked it because it’s just a good story with an unpredictable ending, well told, and actually a very good mix of humour and pathos.

Oh, it’s  about four people and their take on suicide, and how they collectively fight it, in case you didn’t know.