Nick Hornby has never failed me. He’s underwhelmed me once (Slam), but as both a novelist and as an author has been adapted for the big screen (High Fidelity, About a Boy), he’s batting 1.000, even if all the hits weren’t home runs.
Oh fuck. I just remembered the Farrelly’s heinous adaptation of Fever Pitch, which would ruin that perception but for the fact that the movie had no more to do with the book than Jimmy Fallon has to do with humor. I like to believe, in fact, that those assholes didn’t even get permission from Hornby to make that movie. Let’s all ignore its existence. It’s the way it should be.
Anyway, for the first time, he’s written a screenplay that’s not based on any of his previous work. An Education debuted earlier this year at Sundance and was the subject of a bidding war, one of the very few at this year’s festival. I can’t say for sure exactly why — it doesn’t look like a particularly marketable film. It’s a period piece, set in the 60s, with largely an indie cast (Peter Sarsgaard, Sally Hawkins, Alfred Molina, Olivia Williams). And I can’t even admit, based on the trailer, that it looks fantastic. But it did win the Audience Award at Sundance, which is the only award that practically guarantees it’s a great film.
I suspect it’s release was set for the fall so that it’d get some Oscar consideration. And I bet it does, though it’s about as far away from a Nick Hornby story as I could imagine.
Here’s the official synopsis:
An Education is the story of a teenage girl’s coming-of-age set in Britain in the early 1960s on the cusp of the strait-laced, post-war period and the free-spirited decade to come. Directed by award-winning Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, Italian for Beginners) from a screenplay by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy), An Education was adapted from a memoir by journalist Lynn Barber, which originally appeared in the literary magazine Granta.
And here’s the trailer: