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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.
- Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Mike Mills
- A Short Film About Making Beginners
- Beginners Promo
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Flashbacks reveal that Oliver’s tentative approach to life in general and relationships in particular, have been shaped by his view of his parents’ marriage. While it was amicable enough, they did not seem fulfilled and were emotionally distant from one another. It was only after his mother’s earlier death that his father revealed that he was gay, that his wife knew this but had believed marriage could ‘fix’ him.
The film uses a montage of images and scenes from different periods of Oliver’s life to illustrate the emotional and non-linear nature of memory. It makes good use of narration, lighting and soundtrack to set the emotional tone of each scene. All the cast work well, especially Christopher Plummer as father Hal coming into his own late in life.
A kind hearted film that says it’s never too late.
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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Most recent customer reviews
Good film with brill acting but rather slow and uneventful. More like a stage play really.