20th Century Women

20th Century Women

Mike Mills (2016)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Set in Santa Barbara, 1979, 20th Century Women focuses on an eclectic quintet, led by a game matriarch (Annette Bening). In her efforts to raise her boy into a man (Lucas Jade Zumann), this single mother enlists the help of two women, her photographer lodger (Greta Gerwig) and one of her son's teenage peers (Elle Fanning) - ignoring the more obvious role model (Billy Crudup's amiable mechanic). Thus the 15-year-old in question adds feminist philosophy to his reading list and finds himself on the frontline of some peculiarly female dramas. The third film from writer/director Mike Mills (Beginners) resembles a playful patchwork, positioning its characters within their specific historical, personal and cultural context. Moments of dreamy existentialism sit ill with the irreverent tone but Bening is a hoot as the capricious protagonist and there's room for her co-stars to shine. The highlight, however, is the sparkling screenplay, blending wry observation, provocative conversation and frequent hilarity. It also affectionately pokes fun at liberal parenting and other intergenerational clashes as the players try to better understand each other, and ultimately themselves.


Premiere. Comedy drama following a teenage boy, his mother and two other women who help raise him among the love and freedom of Southern California in 1979. Starring Annette Bening.

Cast & Crew

Dorothea Fields Annette Bening
Julie Elle Fanning
Abbie Greta Gerwig
Jamie Lucas Jade Zumann
William Billy Crudup
Young Jamie Vitaly A LeBeau
Trish Alia Shawkat
Julie's mother Alison Elliott (2)
Abbie's mother Thea Gill
Director Mike Mills
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Entertainment OneGuidance: Swearing, drug abuseAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 10 Feb 2017
Drama Comedy