Monday, July 4, 2011


Oliver has always lived a maudlin life. Now his father has passed away and he has met a young French actress and has really taken a liking for her. He begins to reflect on his relationships with his free spirited mother and his father, who announced he was gay after her death and began living a fully engaged lifestyle. Hopefully his parents' examples can guide him to not push away his new girlfriend as he has done with all his other relationships. Beginners is Mike Mills sophomore effort as writer/director following Thumbsucker, and is told in the same light and whimsical way. Mills' style can be a little fanciful at times, but the movie is carried throughout by the strength of his cast. Ewan McGregor does fine work in another strong performance as Oliver and Melanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds) contributes nicely as his girlfriend. Mary Page Keller is wonderful as Oliver's mother and Christopher Plummer, who has had a career rebirth in his later years, is great as Oliver's father who has spent most of his life concealing his true nature and blossoms when he is finally allowed to be himself. Beginners is pleasant entertainment where you can sometimes appreciate the auteur's sensibilities and can always admire the acting.