Release date: Oct. 9

Distrib: Sony Classics

The Academy has fallen for female coming-of- age stories before. Just two years ago, “Juno” slipped into the race. Though that film was certainly quirkier, British 1960s period pic “An Education” is receiving critical raves and there’s a groundswell of support for lead actress Carey Mulligan. Like fresh-faced nominee Ellen Page, newcomer Mulligan carries the success of the film squarely on her performance as a young woman who thinks she knows it all — until, of course, she doesn’t.

Danish director Lone Scherfig has been lauded on the fest circuit ever since winning the Audience Award at Sundance in January (John de Borman also snagged a cinematography prize there) . And British novelist Nick Hornby (“High Fidelity,” “About a Boy”) has long been a Hollywood fave, but this time he scripted (adapting Lynn Barber’s memoir). Among the pic’s fine supporting cast, Alfred Molina could be a standout for a nom.

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