Lone Scherfig's An Education is a grown-up coming-of-age movie. Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan) is a bright 16-year-old in 1961 London who has her sights on Oxford University. An older suitor (David, played by Peter Sarsgaard) seduces her with excursions to jazz clubs, fancy restaurants and shopping. This is a welcome change for Jenny, who professes a desire to "smoke as many cigarettes I want" at university. "Will David be the making of Jenny or her undoing?" the DVD cover asks mysteriously, but there is no doubt where Jenny is headed in this film, based as it is on an autobiographical essay by famed British journalist Lynn Barber. The best part of the movie is how David's charming persuasiveness sets off Jenny's acid wit. 3.5/5
Vampires are cool again, and nowhere more so than in Bon Temps, a Louisiana town equally enraptured and repulsed by the latter-day incarnations of the undead. For telepathic waitress Sookie (Anna Paquin), meeting someone whose thoughts she can't read - brooding, courteous 19th century Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) – is a blessed relief. But there's more to vampires than their civilised, mainstream advocates for vampire rights and True Blood, the blood substitute that provides all the nutrients a good vampire needs. It comes as no surprise to us when the mysterious killings begin, but for Sookie, who is as drawn to Bill's magic as she is appalled by the company he keeps, it's more than simply a matter of life and death.
Alan Ball's True Blood, the latest in a line of 'fangtastic' TV series, has delighted American audiences with its funny, gory, sexy take on the uneasy coexistence of humans and vampires. Try the stores in Mahaboudha. 3.5/5
Julie & Julia
Nora Ephron's Julie & Julia is a true story about two women who live three decades apart but share an interest in French cuisine. The now deceased Julia Child (Meryl Streep) was a TV personality who first won renown for authoring a cookbook that introduced the American middle class to French cooking. Julie Powell (Amy Adams) started a blog called the Julie & Julia project, in which she chronicled her quest to cook all 524 recipes in Child's cookbook in the course of one year, and captured the hearts of thousands of culinary enthusiasts. The film depicts the highs and lows of the two women's journeys from anonymity to celebrity. Some things about human nature just don't change with the passage of time, the movie seems to say. Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, who were last paired together in Doubt, are a winning duo. 4/5