A product of the Depression Era, an older mother and single parent (Annette Bening) attempts to understand her punk influenced adolescent son (Lucas Jade Zumann) who seeks guidance from a sickly artistic tenant (Greta Gerwig), an aloof maintenance man (Billy Crudup), and an advanced peer (Elle Fanning) in 1979 Santa Barbara. Phony, magniloquent Mike Mills production, who took nearly the exact same approach with Beginners (ostensibly depicting his father, here his mother), is the kind of material with appeal solely for West Coast liberals and middle-aged Gen-Xers. Bening delivers a nice performance and helps buoy the film along with Gerwig and Zumann. Sean Porter's photography helps too.
** out of ****