Beginners

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Beginners

Mike Mills (2010)

99min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Turning over a new leaf is easier said than done for Ewan McGregor in this quirky fable. He plays Oliver, a tortured artist who's given guidance by his father Hal (Christopher Plummer) - a man who, after the death of his wife, and at the age of 75, finally comes out as gay. Inspired by events in his own life, writer/director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker) adopts a sophisticated approach that belies the film's potential sitcom premise. He creates a colourful scrapbook of Oliver's life, flitting between observations of Hal's new-found joy with a younger partner (ER's Goran Visnjic) and his own attempts to achieve intimacy with Anna (Mélanie Laurent). She is every man's fantasy of a French woman, so Oliver's scepticism about love occasionally feels warranted. Plummer gives a textured portrayal as Hal (which earned him the year's best supporting actor Oscar), but it's the character of Oliver, sensitively played by McGregor, that rings truest, even when he takes advice from a subtitled dog. Darker thoughts take hold later on, but the light of a dawning realisation is never too far away.

Summary

A man starting a relationship looks back on the last years of his father's life, when he came out as gay at the age of 75. He recalls the old man's passionate new outlook on life, and ponders what the experience can teach him about his current romance. Comedy drama, starring Ewan McGregor and an Oscar-winning Christopher Plummer.

Cast & Crew

Oliver Ewan McGregor
Hal Christopher Plummer
Anna Mélanie Laurent
Andy Goran Visnjic
Elliot Kai Lennox
Georgia Mary Page Keller
Young Oliver Keegan Boos
Shauna China Shavers
Robert Jose Yenque
Director Mike Mills
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UniversalGuidance: Swearing, sexual references. Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 22 Jul 2011
Drama Comedy