Monday, July 11, 2011


Movie Name: Beginners
Year of Release: 2010
Director: Mike Mills
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox, Mary Page Keller, Keegan Boos, China Savers
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Mike Mills is a film director who has made his name as a graphic designer, artist and director of music videos. His feature film debut "Thumbsucker" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to good reviews and had a great cast which included the talents of Tilda Swinton, Keanu Reeves, Vince Vaughn and Vincent D'Onofrio. His second feature "Beginners", is an autobiographical story and has resulted in a profoundly beautiful and delicate film.
The film follows the story of Oliver, a young man whose father passed away quite recently. Oliver informs us that his father was married to his mother for over 40 years, and that after she passed away, he came out and announced he was gay. He was 75 and had decided to live his life to the fullest and according to his true wishes. Sadly a terminal illness cut his life short. We witness the way Oliver deals with his loss and how upon meeting Anna, his love life changes (as does his sense of happiness).
The film is a delicate mapping of the life of two main characters, namely Hal the father and Oliver the son. Both men were born in completely different times and experienced life very differently, however there is a strong undercurrent of love which unites them both. It's a film that is joyous in the celebration of love between parents and sons and between romantic partners. It shows how people's defenses prevent them from experiencing things fully, which ends up being the big issue in Oliver's life. The film is beautifully edited and shot and has fantastic performances from Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Melanie Laurent. A true gem worth watching!