Now that you’re all had the chance to see director Lone Scherfig’s adaptation of Lynn Barber’s memoir, An Education (and if you haven’t yet get to it!). It’s safe to talk about the possible alternate ending that Carey Mulligan told us about our interview with her a few weeks back. There are millions of choices that go into making film, and one can only hope that they get as many right as possible.
There is definite a truth behind the expression “movie magic” especially with a smaller film that’s on a budget. Getting the perfect shot, actors having an off day, the lighting, weather, injuries, or you name it, if it can go wrong, it will. There are normally two main reasons for an ending being changed, one is because something gets in the way of creating the perfect shot and the director has to divert from their original intention. The other is that once the movie is put together, and they’re sitting in the editing room something doesn’t work and the director has to make the decision about what to cut, keep, or change. In the case of An Education, both accidental and intentional forces came into play when deciding between the two possible endings.
WARNING: If you have not seen the film, for your own sake DO NOT read another further. With either ending, this is a great film and you should let it be a surprise. If you’ve seen the film, read on…
In some ways I prefer the alternate ending, not necessarily because it makes the film any better, but because it reinforces the notion that our lead character has not changed because she was forced to, but because she wanted to change despite her situation. It also shows that she has no regrets for her actions and that in making the decision that she did, she not only grew to be a stronger women, but also found what she truly wanted without being made to do something or told what to do. It’s not about what “they want” isn’t about the fact that she FINALLY gets to find and do what she wants.
Seeing as the film takes place in an era when things are about she change, her actions are one of the many things that forced the movement of equality during the 60′s into action. Women for the first time were being given the choice to decide for themselves what they wanted to do, instead of just being destined to be a nurse, school teacher, or mother.
The ending of the film still gives us a slight feeling of this, but the alternate ending definitely make it more clear.
Check out how the scene was supposed to go according to what Carey Mulligan told us in our interview with her below…
Carey: The real Jenny went to Oxford, fell in love and married him and is still with him now. The real David is out there too, but we don’t talk about him. She also wrote a book, which Nick Hornby gave to me a couple of weeks ago called, “How To Improve Your Man In Bed.” I mean it’s hard because Lynn Barber, in real life, went on, became a really fames journalist in England and is happily married so she found the ideal life so I suppose I want Jenny to find the same thing. You see an idea of that in the end. She’s with this new guy and he’s of an appropriate age, they own bikes, which is fun. She’s sort of reinventing herself.
There was actually a different ending that got cut. I don’t know… well they’re releasing the screenplay and it will have this at the end. David comes to Oxford, in the film you see his car in the back of the frame, which we couldn’t cut out. He came to Oxford, after he had been in prison – which he did in real life, he was put away for fraud and — He comes back and says “I’m getting a divorce, I want you back, you’re still my ‘Mini-Mouse’ I’m still your ‘Bubble-Lub” and she goes “Psh! Please” (laughs) and then says “look I found my own life” and walks away and that’s the end of the film. But we filmed it in Oxford and we had this glorious sunshine. The filmed Peter’s side and they they turned around we ran out of time and then we tried to re-shoot it a couple of weeks later and it was in the rain. It never matched. And it just felt like it wasn’t saying anything, so it was cut. But you can see his car! Car lovers will see the car.
If you’ve seen the film, you know like I do that it’s damn near perfect and the ending is beautiful (especially if you noticed the car in the background). The alternate ending could have been too “nail on the head” for some peoples liking and so it’s quite possible that despite the rain issues, Lone made the right decision. I do think it’s important to express that a girl in the suburbs in the 60′s she did in fact have a choice, and one that she can be proud and happy with making.
But that’s just me…. Which ending do you prefer?