When it comes to relationships, we’re all beginners.
A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover.
There is a really great heartbreaking and poignant story here of personal discovery yet it is buried under irksome and near film-destroying levels of quirk. This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise given it is from the director of Thumbsucker, a film suffocated by its indie credibility, yet with such a personal story I was hoping Mike Mills would have delivered a more restrained and truthful film this time around.
Instead we get a horribly self-aware film that constantly undoes the great work by Christopher Plummer and his fascinating character. Every embellishment seemed to rub me up the wrong way from the unnecessary voice over narration, the way McGregor talked to his father’s dog (and to make things immeasurably worse…
If I can forgive Ewan McGregor doing an American accent in your film, you've probably done something right. Beginners is sweet but not cloying, quirky but not too precious, and subtly moving. McGregor, Plummer and the absurdly pretty Laurent are brilliant, as is the photography and score. And Arthur.
Probably the most joyless, uncharismatic romance ever put to screen. Why were they even in love? Who cares.
BEGINNERS tells the tale of an old guy who comes out of the closet after 50 years of marriage and leads a happy gay lifestyle until he dies of cancer. Then his son falls in love with a French actress. That's it. Ewan McGregor and Melanie Laurent have zero chemistry (even though they are both super cute and are my one true loves) and Christopher Plummer gives a pretty good performance as the gay father but his story is ultimately meaningless and uninteresting.
Also, look at that poster. It pisses me off for some reason. I think it's the way that the…
Last years Best Picture winner, The Artist, featured a little Jack Russell Terrier that everyone raved about called Uggie.
While Uggie warmed my heart, Cosmo, the little Jack Russell Terrier of Beginners, broke it.
Last year was a good year to be a Jack Russell Terrier.
I have not liked Ewen MacGregor in anything since Trainspotting but here he is marginally more likeable. Beginners is a well-made and acted film in which the show is stolen completely by Christopher Plummer, who gives a performance that earned him an Oscar (though I think that's a bit of a stretch - he's great, but not that great). Melanie Laurent seems strangely out of place but that's forgiveable because she's so damn lovely and charming. The subtitles indicating the thoughts of the dog were a cute Miranda July-ish touch, which I guess makes sense seeing as the director Mike Mills is married to July. A lovely film.
The montages save the day. Everything Beginners does is achieved just in its parade of surprisingly evocative "This is what the president looked like. This is what pretty looked like" sequences, as well as other montages like the graffiti and the clean, graphic design elements like the quarters. But that would deprive us of Christopher Plummer's exuberance. Beyond that, it's a fine film. Delicately colored and composed for our judgment. Maybe lighter on ideas (of paternity, history, liberation) than it thinks. But an interesting work nonetheless.
Le père est très bien joué, le chien communique par sous-titre et tout les appartements du film sont beaux même si il est assez triste. Cela-dit, l'un n'empêche pas l'autre.
Sweetly melancholic. I enjoyed every character, and found emotional resonance in each of them. Left me feeling good.
a fun, and funny, tale of a father and son as they get to know each other more following the death of the family matriarch. a budding romance, along with a story point regarding the father's hidden sexuality, add both a lightness and serious tone to the film. excellent direction from Mills, who used his own life as an inspiration for the story.
It's weird how this movie is so sad and happy at the same time.
This film is so incredibly dull. I was looking for a reason to be interested throughout the whole film, and I just...wasn't. I was extremely bored throughout the entire thing. And if you've seen my bio, you know my position on homosexuality, so that was a minus. Blech.
I made it an hour into this movie before I gave up but I'd rather watch anything else.
I am a quirky motherfucker. When your movie is too quirky for me to handle, you done fucked up, son.
This review is gonna be made into two halves, just like Beginners itself.
Five minutes into this movie, I instantly realized there was something wrong. Beginners is a Young White Beta film. Yes, I made that phrase up for this brand of filmmaking that I, and other prolific people of Letterboxd, find extremely offensive. And it wouldn't make sense because Ewan McGregor was 38 during filming. With that said, I am averse to a movie that's focused on young people and their anxiety. Obviously not every movie featuring a Young White Beta is bad, but I hate the idea of sitting through a film where a person who'll constantly bitch about his shitty, yet privileged life and that…
This wonderful film is indeed about beginnings but it is also about endings and all the wonderful, messy, sad/happy times inbetween. In other words, it's about relationships, between lovers, (of both sexes), between parents and their children and even between people and their pets. It begins with Oliver, (a career-best performance from Ewan McGregor), clearing out his father's house after his father's death and it jumps back and forth in time as Oliver looks back on his life and in particular on his relationship with his father who came out as gay at the age of 75. In this role Christopher Plummer is superb and was rightly awarded the Oscar for his performance. But it's also about Oliver's own beginnings,…
Huge life changes often bring about personal transformations. This movie examines the differing results for a father and son as they work toward the life they each feel they deserve. Bitter and sweet.