Why it might be hard to care about Jenny:
- She’s fairly passive, but c’mon, it’s Carey Mulligan, we’re all gonna love her.
- We begin with a montage of her life in school (though we don’t really see her in it). They use the sides of their fists to make baby feet on the windows, which is something I remember from my childhood that I’d never seen onscreen before.
- She has an oddly specific metaphor family of injecting French into her conversations awkwardly.
- Her father tells her she’s not allowed to think for herself. The boy who likes her is dull. She’s stuck in the rain.
- She’s so much cooler and smarter than her parents or the boy in her class who likes her. She listens to French pop. She’s interested in the arts. She’s the only one who can answer the teacher’s question about “Jane Eyre”. We like her for not disliking that David is Jewish, and calling out her dad’s prejudice.
- Eat: Yes, she’s eating with her parents in the first real scene, then again when Graham comes over. She goes out for espresso with her friends.
- Exercise: In the montage, they’re hula-hooping, learning dance (Girls dancing with each other), playing lacrosse, etc. She walks through the snow to get to school.
- Economic Activity: He gives her the amount of money for a new cello for the right to drive alongside her with her cello in his car. He buys her lots of stuff right away.
- Enjoy: She and her friends hang out and laugh. She enjoys listening to French records.
- Emulate: She uses French whenever she can and tells her classmates of her plans to become a Frenchwoman after Oxford
- Well, she thinks a relationship with David will allow her to rise above her petty circumstances, but in fact he’s using money to seduce her into sex and a life of crime, so she’s more a prisoner of her economic circumstances than she realizes. If she had money (either came from money or worked a job), she would be more immune to David’s charms.
- Nary a person of color to be seen.
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