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.
After seeing Big Fish and Moulin Rouge, I always make sure to keep up with Ewan McGregor‘s work. He tends to do non-blockbusters, and usually movies with some heart. So when I saw a him in a movie written and directed by Mike Mills with Christopher Plummer co-starring, I jumped right on ship. Unfortunately, I was not able to make it out to the city to see it in theaters, but I am just now able to get a good copy of it. Let’s begin!
McGregor plays Oliver, a graphic artist who has just lost his father Hal [Plummer] to cancer a few months ago. He is sort of a loner now, but finds a relationship with Anna, a French actress played by Mélanie Laurent. Her lifestyle makes for many similarities with Oliver. Throughout the film are scenes of Oliver with his father after coming out and being diagnosed. There are also portions in which McGregor narrates pictures of things from certain times, and each time they do it different connections are made, giving a really nice flow to the movie.
The movie is about relationships, and if you don’t believe the characters, you won’t believe what the movie has to say. The acting in this movie is exemplary. Plummer giving probably the best performance of the movie, and one of the better ones I’ve seen this year. But McGregor and Laurent also perform wonderfully. It is a great ensemble who work very well together.
The film shows love in all its forms, whether it be between man and woman, a man and a man, a parent and child, or man and dog. But love is a complicated thing, and its complications are also shown. The story that is told is whole and complete. We aren’t given false hopes or pessimistic outlooks. And the end of the film, we are left satisfied, and agreeing with the film’s name.
It’s not really a film that I think I will watch more than once, as there is nothing really enticing or unique about it. It is a just a very sound little movie that is good for a watch by most anyone.
3.0/4.0 – A charming film about relationships, be it between man and woman, man and man, father and son, or man and dog. With delightful performances from Christopher Plummer and crew, Beginners is a good film with a whole story that leaves you satisfied and hopeful.