ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – B – Beginners (2010) Movie Review


Director: Mike Mills

Writer: Mike Mills (Screenplay)

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox, Mary Page Keller

Plot: 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.

Tagline – This is what love feels like.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Charming

Story: Beginners starts as Oliver (McGregor) tells us about his life and that after his mother’s death, his father Hal (Plummer) comes out as gay, looking to explore this side of his life, before dying, leading to Oliver needing to move on with his life, while remember the change in his father’s life.

When Oliver meets Anna (Laurent) at a party the two hit it off, Oliver finds someone new to confined in, while trying his hardest to care for his dad’s dog who is feeling just as heartbroken as he is.

Thoughts on Beginners

Characters – Oliver has seen his life has change, first his mother died, then his father came out as gay, he does fully support him, only things take turn when his father gets cancer, we see how he helps him through his treatment and tries his hardest to move on with his life after he is gone, falling in love with a new woman, while learning to keep his father’s dog with him, never wanting to be alone. Hal is Oliver’s father, he did love his wife, only he was secretly gay until her death, he looks to explore the world he couldn’t enter while married, he takes his cancer news in with ease, never letting it get to him, while trying to make up for lost time. Anna is the new woman that walks into Oliver’s life, she gives him someone to open up to about his struggles in life as he looks to get his own life back on track, she has her own stories which will make her easy for Oliver to connect too.

PerformancesEwan McGregor in the leading role shows us the full grief levels he is going through during the film, we see the struggles before and after his father’s death. Christopher Plummer is wonderful to watch, showing us how someone can make the most out of limited time, with Melanie Laurent complete the main cast with a strong performance throughout.

StoryThe story follows a man that is dealing with changes in his father’s life, both before and after his death, where he looks to put his own life back together. This does have two main timelines to follow, which we blend between effortlessly, both rely on Oliver having that other person in his life, be it his father or Anna. It does show us how difficult moving on with life can be for someone when it comes to death. It does show how moving forward will see change and that you never know who will coming into your life.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy comes from how everything is played out, with the strange relationship with the dog, with the romance being shown to bring things back to life for Oliver.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just how Oliver’s life has gone through, giving us a look at how he lived and now wants to live.

Scene of the Movie – Conversations with the dog.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is a charming and enjoyable movie that could be used to show just how difficult loss can be in life.

Overall: Enjoyable

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