Beginners

Beginners

(2010)

Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent star in this comedy-drama about a young man rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer and that he has a young male lover.... More

Oliver (McGregor) meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna (Laurent of Inglourious Basterds) only months after his father (Plummer) has passed away. This new love has Oliver reflecting on his father who, following the death of his wife of 45 years, came out of the closet at age 75 to live an energized, and tumultuous gay life – which included a younger boyfriend, Andy (Goran Visnjic, ER).

From writer/director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker), who based this story on his own father.Hide

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Flicks Review

"They f** you up, your mum and dad" appears to be the underlying message of Mike Mills’ Beginners, a tragicomedy that also suggests the parents aren’t entirely to blame. Through the intimate portrayal of two love stories emerges a bigger picture of society’s expectations, a reminder of the consequences of repressed homosexuality.... More

Mills, a graphic designer in his other life, paints, rather than points, a finger. He’s an inventive storyteller, his distinctive visual voice affording his characters silence if they require it, communicating his theme through the use of motifs, twee advertising imagery, and metaphor (in one scene Ewan McGregor’s Oliver goes to a dress-up party as Sigmund Freud). Meanwhile, Oliver’s inner turmoil is shown via conversations with his dad’s dog, and through his increasingly depressive drawings.

Like his irreverent film Thumbsucker, Mills tackles dark territory but never strays too far into melancholy. That’s also thanks to a wonderfully charming cast playing offbeat, damaged characters. McGregor is sensitive and restrained, as is Melanie Laurent as the vulnerable Anna, Christopher Plummer as a newly-outed man discovering life at 75, and Mary Page Keller as Oliver’s bored and lonely mother, prone to eccentric public displays. One quibble: the central love story’s climax is underdeveloped, and plot-wise, there are few surprises.

But Beginners is still a heartfelt and whimsical gem.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 5 ratings, 5 reviews
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BY freshdude superstar

A fresh look at loss and love. Cleverly filmed and edited, it shows the contrast between Hal's late affirmation of what he wanted his life to be, and his son Oliver's doubtful and unsecure way of dealing with relationship ... which eventually might get resolved.


BY Weds_Loafers superstar

Today six of us saw "Beginners". This movie is an enigma. On the one hand, it is a deeply moving story about relationships, particularly within a family; while on the other hand, it is tedious. It is a story about non-judgemental acceptance, emotions, honesty and love. It canvasses a wide range of loves, of pets, of parent, of children, of lovers and of friends. Viewers and critics alike will report widely varied opinions of this movie, from very good to mundane. For us it didn't cut... More the mustard and perhaps is best summarised by one of our group who commented afterwards, "What a pity it wasn't made by the British or the French." Nevertheless, the performances by the father, Hal, (Christopher Plummer) and his son Oliver, Ewan McGregor) were excellent. 2½ stars out of 5.Hide


BY PhilMoore superstar

This is an amazing showcase of acting, about a man called Oliver played by Ewan McGregor who gives a look back at his life while finding out his father played by the great Christopher Plummer who in my opinion will finally get the Oscar he so richely deserves, has terminal cancer and after 45 years of marriage to Oliver's mother is now gay. Oliver also embarks on a relationship with Anna played by Melanie Laurent.This is a commentary on who we are as people and how society has changed over the... More last 60 years or so. This is true gem. I highly recommend it.Hide


BY Gerd superstar

So I hope Tony you don't mind me stealing your lines:

"The script is smart, acting excellent (especially Melanie Laurent who needs even more exposure), direction confident & illuminating and the package a real surprise.
It doesn't go for the typical happy ever after ending I was expecting, but something more real and still uplifting.
And good on Christopher Plummer, the older gay man living in a yound man's scene, who holds the key to the films success. Who are we, what can we do to be... More honest about ourselves, and why does love mean so much to us........beginners listen and learn."Hide


Saw this at the Film Festival this year and was blown away. The script is smart, acting excellent (especially Melanie Laurent who needs even more exposure), direction confident & illuminating and the package a real surprise.
It doesn't go for the typical happy ever after ending I was expecting, but something more real and still uplifting.
And good on Christopher Plummer, the older gay man living in a yound man's scene, who holds the key to the films success. Who are we, what can we do to be... More honest about ourselves, and why does love mean so much to us........beginners listen and learn.Hide


The Press Reviews

84% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • The love feels heartfelt but it’s difficult loving other people, a hardship that’s evident in the happy-tearful faces, the tentative touches and searching glances that make this movie, or maybe all its yearning, so appealing. Full Review

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