“I finally got to see An Education after all your raves about it and I’m absolutely head over heels in love with this film,” Santa Barbara Film Festival director Roger Durling wrote a few minutes ago. “Ten minutes in I found myself in a state of movie nirvana that I hadn’t felt in years. There’s not a single false note, and all the performances are pitch perfect.

Rosamund Pike, Carey Mulligan in An Education

Carey Mulligan, of course, is sublime and the leading contender at this point for Best Actress. Alfred Molina, Peter Sarsgaard, Olivia Williams and Dominic Cooper are all doing their best work. [Wells interjection: My favorite Williams performance is still in Rushmore.]

“But I was particularly taken with Rosamund Pike [who plays Cooper’s somewhat ditzy, arm-candy girlfriend]. That’s a difficult role. There’s a knowingness about this character despite the fact that she’s not supposed to be playing a smart one. At times I felt — delightfully — as if Pike was winking at us and letting us know of the sleight-of-hand she was performing. And it made the role sexier because of it.

“I’ve noticed how beautiful and talented this actress is in other movies, but she’s a knock-out in An Education. God, I hope she gets some recognition!”