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39 Reviews
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 (18)
4 star:
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3 star:
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love and death in Los Angeles
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...
Published on 10 Aug. 2011 by Aidan J. McQuade

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WHY DID YOU LET ME GO?
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...
Published 21 months ago by THE MOVIE GUY


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Film, 15 Dec. 2011
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A. D. Gherson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beginners [DVD] (DVD)
Great........Good..............Very Good!

Christopher Plummer was outstanding and so was Ewan Mcgregor but the dream casting was Melanie Laurent. She is an actor of many talents and emotions and although she is inbetween two acting heavyweights she is marvellous and is an absolute treat. The film is complex and your emotions are put to the test but since acquiring it I have watched it twice and will watch it again as there are new things to see and new emotions to feel.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C'est beau ici......dans le film, 16 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Beginners [DVD] (DVD)
Having seen a clip of the film on the Graham Norton Show before becoming interested in it, I knew what to expect - this is not a classic Hollywood love story/romcom, and those looking for some sort of glamorous easy-to-watch corporate-produced film should look away now (I myself love a good romcom as well!). With this film, either you get it or you don't, and so I can understand why some have given it lower ratings.

However if you get it, you really get it. This is possibly one of the best films I have ever seen - poignant, beautifully filmed (clearly low-budget), moving from the present day in which the shots revolve around McGregor and Laurent's characters to the past memories of a bizarre childhood and an adulthood, with the shots being clean and straight as we cannot take an objective position and observe our memories from another angle. The title is clear: this follows the story of each character as they come to begin in life. For Oliver, this is after the death of both of his parents when he meets an alluring French woman at a party - Anna; and they set off on their journey of discovery of what love really feels like, means, is. It is not easy and there are problems along the way - are you really ready to sacrifice yourself and commit to one person? For Hal, Oliver's father, his 'beginning' was at the age of 75, following the death of his wife, when he came out to his son. It is almost tear jerkingly beautiful that the last four years of his life were perhaps the most lively he has had - he falls in love, renews his wardrobe etc. etc. and it is the memory of him and Oliver's mother that bring him to the point at which he ends up at the finishing line of the film: the ending of the beginning, but nowhere near the ultimate end.

This is acted beautiful (especially by the dog!) and the fact that this is based on the true story of the writer/director, Mike Mills makes it even more beautiful to watch. The use of magazine pictures, photographs and graphics to express ideas of the past such as 'this is what love looked like....this is what beautiful looked like....' is extremely effective - you cannot examine what you did not experience in the past, and so we only have these pictures to go on when talking about our own lives; our own family histories.

The character of Anna also reminded me greatly of Anny in Sartre's 'Nausea' - her ideas of freedom in relation to empty rooms are extremely interesting and poignant in relation to the randomness and completely free, yet paradoxically completely restraining nature of life itself; and even the graffiti of 'historical consciousness' on the walls alludes to the existence of all objects which Sartre painfully highlights to us in his work. This film is, as a result, a true masterpiece which is on the face of it a story about a man coming out at the age of 75 (beautiful in itself); but once you begin to notice the smaller themes and threads that make up the whole, it is something so much more.

And so much better.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful fim, 27 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Beginners [DVD] (DVD)
This is a beautiful film, unusual in that every single character is appealing. The film does not go for cheap thrills with chaos, appalling behaviour, violence, sex; but radiates love of many different sorts and leaves the viewer touched and delighted. I am only sad there aren't more films like this
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD, 2 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Beginners [DVD] (DVD)
As described- what more can I say? Well packaged- exactly what it said on the site. Would recommend as a supplier
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic, highly recommendable!, 9 May 2013
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This review is from: Beginners [DVD] (DVD)
After a remarkable career, Christopher Plummer changes his game by playing an elderly gay character. A true tour de force. I learned when watching the dvd extras, that the story is based upon the real-life experiences of the screenwriter, and boy, does he have a story to tell.

In modern pictures and tv series, we see gay men as flamboyant, wealthy, sassy,... but I hadn't seen a story about someone who starts his life again as an out gay man, well into his seventies. Such stories should be told more often, in stead of putting gay characters into stereotypical boxes, people should realize that there is much more to us than what is shown today.

Apart from this, I loved the movie in its entirety. The story is well built, the characters are believable and well portrayed, and it has one of the most beautiful love stories I've seen lately. Not only between a boy and a girl, but also between a boy and a father, and a boy and his subtitled dog.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as expected, 14 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Beginners [DVD] (DVD)
I had been looking forward to watching this for some time but I was quite disappointed with it 4 more words
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming and Rich, 20 July 2012
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M. Jefferies (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beginners [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A slow moving story that wraps you up in its characters. I love movies that make you think without overt manipulation - this is one of those movies that you "take home with you", when you leave the theater.
Weeks later I still wanted to see it again. Laurent, McGregor, and Plummer all shine, but Goran Visnji almost steals the show. Recommended for those who want more than explosions from their movies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 12 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Beginners [DVD] (DVD)
Enjoyed it
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 20 July 2014
By 
Mrs. D. Greig Smith (Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beginners [DVD] (DVD)
Thanks
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trying Too Hard, 27 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Beginners [DVD] (DVD)
I was really disappointed with this film. I wanted it to be brilliant and moving but actually found it a bit . irritating. I think the fault for me was that it felt forced, like the film was trying really hard to be quirky but didn't quite hit the mark.
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Beginners [Blu-ray]
Beginners [Blu-ray] by Mike Mills (Blu-ray - 2011)
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