Beginners (2010)

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Nice movie, Christopher Plummer

Nothing

Movie Info

Movie Name: Beginners

Studio: Olympus Pictures

Genre(s): Comedy/Drama

Release Date(s): September 11, 2010

MPAA Rating: R

beginners-ewan-plummer

So Dad, anything new?

Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is dealing with the death of his father Hal (Christopher Plummer) from cancer and finds he cannot connect to anyone.  When his friends force him to a party, Oliver meets Anna (Melanie Laurent), a French actress shooting a movie in the area.  Anna and Oliver find a connection, and Oliver is forced to reconnect with his past and remember how his father (at age 75) changed after the death of his mother by announcing he was gay.

Written and directed by Mike Mills, Beginners was a bit of an autobiography of his father’s real coming out.  It was released at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival but didn’t receive a wide release until 2011.  Received well by critics and fans the movie, structure is quite non-linear and has a strange flow pace.  Despite the downer subject, it is also a comedy (in addition to being a drama).

beginners-ewan-laurent

My tortured past views of relationships cannot allow me to connect…just putting that out there

The acting is great in the movie.  Ewan McGregor and Melanie Laurent’s relationship seems real since they are both just odd enough that it seems like a legitimate couple.  Laurent is showing a lot of potential as an actress after her role in Inglourious Basterds (one of the few things I did like about that movie) and McGregor is always strong.

The real star however is Christopher Plummer who despite being 80 years old at the time of the movie continues to reinvent himself and bring new dimensions to characters that other lesser skilled actors cannot.  It is nice to see an actor who has been around so long continue to get work, and quality work at that.  His exploration of his gay side is funny and tragic in that he finally learns how to open up in his life, only to die.  Plummer is just a solid actor and a great reminder of the depth in Hollywood that needs to be continuously tapped and not forgotten (he also does a great turn in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo this year).

beginners-plummer

Don’t even think of trying to steal this scene from me, dog

The non-linear style of the movie also is beneficial to the storytelling.  Through Oliver’s flashbacks, you can see how his parents have affected his life (and in turn his love life) by seeing how much he is like them.  Things Oliver does with Anna are mirrors of his past with his mother, but you don’t learn this until later in the movie…it is nice and smart to see a subtle script instead of one that feels it is necessary to continue to remind you by having the actors give long soliloquies about their past.

Beginners is a nice movie and is sure to be recognized by Hollywood during award season.  It is a smart comedy-drama and like many good comedy-dramas it finds what is funny in life rather than sitting around making jokes.  It’s  a good movie…check it out.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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