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Beginners [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent, Christopher Plummer
  • Directors: Mike Mills
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, Hungarian, Turkish
  • Dubbed: German, Hungarian
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Nov. 2011
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004VEY03O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,401 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From writer/director Mike Mills comes a comedy/drama about how deeply funny and transformative life can be, even at its most serious moments. Beginners imaginatively explores the hilarity, confusion and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver (Golden Globe Award nominee Ewan McGregor). Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna (Mélanie Laurent of Inglourious Basterds) only months after his father Hal (Academy Award nominee Christopher Plummer) has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father, who, following the death of his wife of 45 years, came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal’s new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they’d ever been able to be. Now Oliver endeavours to love Anna with all the bravery, humour, and hope that his father taught him.

Special Features:
  • Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Mike Mills
  • A Short Film About Making Beginners
  • Beginners Promo

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Aidan J. McQuade on 10 Aug. 2011
Format: DVD
In the aftermath of his father's death an artist (Ewan McGregor) meets and falls in love with a young woman (Melanie Laurent). The story proceeds through the first weeks of this relationship with flashbacks on memories of the artist's childhood and of his father's last days. The flashbacks help us understand why McGregor's character is having such a hard time building a relationship with someone who for many people would be a dream woman: McGregor's father, played beautifully by Christopher Plummer, was gay, who only came out after his wife died. McGregor's character frets constantly that all his relationships will become as passionless as his parent's and so, little by little, has sabotaged them.

Its something of a relief to see Ewan McGregor giving a decent performance in a good film again: with the exception of "The Ghost" much of his output over the past few years has been some considerable dross. Here he gives a sympathetic performance of a man who, with a less well judged portrayal, could easily alienate the audience with his low-key self-destructiveness.

This is a slight story but beautifully told and with some profound insights. It is worth watching for Chrisopher Plummer alone, and a lovely cameo from Goran Visnic as Plummer's lover. There are a few decent jokes in the film but overall it is a very melancholic affair. Nevertheless it pulls off the not inconsiderable trick of leaving the viewers feeling hopeful at the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Guy TOP 100 REVIEWER on 27 Jun. 2013
Format: DVD
We all have a life story to tell, some more interesting than others. What makes a story interesting is not always the story, but the story teller. If I thought telling my life story by showing photos of dead presidents and shooting film with no talking and just a sad piano playing, I wouldn't even expect my family to watch such pretentious BS. This is what we got in this film, a lousy story teller.

Oliver's gay father has passed on, with dad coming out of the closet at age 75. Oliver (Ewan McGregor) meets a girl (Mélanie Laurent) but has trouble with the long term relationship thing. It seems that at 38, the most normal relationship he can relate anything to his his old gay dad (Christopher Plummer) and his younger gay lover. Seriously? At 38? That's the best? Oh wait, this is a gays are 50's Americana film.

He meets Anna who is somewhat of a free spirit. I thought she was perfect as a mute, but as it turns out she only had laryngitis. Poor Oliver has trouble in a relationship with a hot blond that throws herself at him.

Perhaps the film symbolism/ metaphor was above my head as I didn't think the flashback scenes meshed well with the present. The film was slow and boring and I am still looking for the clever, brilliant, and funny scenes claimed on the DVD cover. I thought "Milk" was better.

F-bomb, implied sex, back nudity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By smits on 6 Dec. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw Beginners after a bereavement and though it was a strong experience to see something like this it was healing....Plummer is suave and vulnerable and does his part...Ewan McGregor continues to enthrall and please....love the new girl..their romance, including the Plummer gay romance is the stuff of modern love and is refreshing....love the job Ewan does ....simply profound !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 30 Sept. 2011
Format: DVD
Life can often be full of surprises. Oliver's (McGregor) life starts to undergo profound changes when his father (Plummer) declares himself gay, then discovers he has terminal cancer. After his father's death he is further surprised when he falls for Anna (Laurent), but dealing with the emotional upheaval of his father's passing causes problems with the new relationship.

This is a nicely observed character study, with a decent touch of humour and a story that goes somewhere. Throughout the story all the characters really develop, especially McGregor who shows how good an actor he really is. Christopher Plummer gives a top notch performance as the newly confessed gay Hal, who then goes on to fully embrace every aspect of his new life, and to extract every last drop of fun from it while he can.

While Plummer and McGregor are top billed, the star of the show has to be Hal's dog, Arthur, who gets some of the best lines in the film...

It would have been so easy to be heavy handed with this subject matter and produce a leaden intense drama, but the light touch from both director and actors makes this a charming and easygoing experience that leaves you refreshed. It might be a light touch, but it certainly isn't lightweight. And while it is funny in places, this is contrasted (as many of the best comedies do) with extreme sadness. It is a textured, thoughtful experience that, while never going to sweep the awards, is a worthwhile film to watch. 4 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ann-Kristina Navntoft on 3 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I liked it though...Even if wrongly marketed as a comedy...which it is not really...But a good picture, that leaves you a bit sad...Liked the dog very much...Always like Christopher Plummer & Ewan McGregor, no matter what they do...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Forbes on 19 Jan. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was looking very forward to seeing this movie after the media buildup, but I found it disappointing and superficial
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ø. Hjartnes on 20 Oct. 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Nearly perfect from beginning to end, Beginners is simply one of the best films released this year. Ewan McGregor is flawless in his role of the son who's trying to deal with his father's looming death, homosexuality and relationship with his deceased mother. He also finds a love of his own that gives us some of the best on-screen chemistry seen in a while with Mélanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds). Beginners is a complex drama with lots of heartfelt humor and emotion.
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