Two movies from Great Britain are playing in Hawaii right now. "An Education" and "Pirate Radio" are both set in the 1960s, but that's the only thing they have in common.
"Pirate Radio" celebrates the crazy off-shore radio DJs who defied the British government by broadcasting rock music.
"An Education" is a coming-of-age story about a precocious 16-year-old girl who is romanced by a man twice her age.
They meet during a rain storm when the man pulls up beside the girl and offers her a ride.
Peter Sarsgaard is David, a charismatic man in his 30s. Carey Mulligan is Jenny, a precocious but naive school girl eager to experience life. Peter is such a smooth operator that he even charms jenny's parents.
Plus, he introduces Jenny to his friends and takes her to places she's only dreamed about. As he puts it to a couple they go out with, "Isn't it wonderful to find a young person who wants to know things?"
Jenny takes to it all like a fish to water. "You have no idea how boring everything was before I met you," she tells him.
You might expect something terrible or tragic to happen in this obviously unhealthy relationship. But David is not as sleazy as you might expect and Jenny may be naive but she's also smart. David really is her education.
Carey Mulligan gives a not-to-be-missed performance in this movie. She's so good she deserves an Oscar nomination.
"Pirate Radio," on the other hand, is a mixed bag at best. The movie celebrates the crazy off-shore radio DJs who in the 1960s defied the British government by broadcasting rock music. It's got some good acting and some great music, but the silly, overly complicated script feels more like a TV sitcom than a polished film.
I grew up in the 60s, but I still can't recommend this movie.