"Angry Young Man" playwrights like John Osborne, the paperback popularity of French philosophers like Camus, and the infectious sounds of American music all heralded this new shift in culture an we see the conflicts played out here between Jenny's family and the world her new and much older boyfriend offers her. But all is not what it seems.
Casey Mulligan, who is being touted as a new major star, does well as a mature and whip-smart teenager who gets a lesson in real-world values, and Albert Molina as her insecure middle-class dad who wants her to go to Oxford very badly---unless she can get a suitable marriage partner --are both likely to get Oscar nominations for this one.
The truth is the whole cast is right on the mark; the soundtrack of jazz and rhytmn and blues classics gives this film the sense and sensibilities of the period.
It also shows the fine line between a bright young and attractive school girl walks between two types of "an education"--the world of academic sophistication and real-life maturity, and the gritty and sordid realities that can lurk underneath the demi-monde of trendy jazz clubs, art galleries and Paris weekends--things that would naturally attract a young and clever liberal arts devotee.