Monday, August 8, 2011


Director: Mike Mills
Writer: Mike Mills

Ewan McGregor -- Oliver
Christopher Plummer -- Hal
Mélanie Laurent -- Anna
Goran Visnjic -- Andy
Kai Lennox -- Elliot
Mary Page Keller -- Georgia
Keegan Boos -- Young Oliver

Rated: R

What do you do when your Mom dies and your Dad announces he's gay?

If you're Oliver, you do your best to keep up. But your Dad's making up for forty years of lost time in the closet. That's not going to be easy to handle, particularly when you are still trying to reconcile the truth with your memories of the past. Worse, his father's got cancer and is in denial about how much time he has left.

Oliver's also struggling with his own life. Unlike his parents, he's having serious commitment issues. When a French actress with similar problems appears on the scene, he wants to try love again.

Beginners is a huge bite from a slice of life that's a mix of bittersweet and the pain you get when you've accidentally chomped down on a piece of tinfoil. All of us know our parents aren't quite truthful and most of us really don't want to think of what happens behind the bedroom doors. It's particularly rough when Hal is doing his darnedest just to conform in a world that has not accepted him. This is a heartbreaking story and one far too common in a society that remorseless demands conformity.

The story's told in a series of flash-backs that give us a clue about both Oliver and Hal's younger lives. Kudos to casting and Keegan Boos who has done a commendable job as young Oliver.

The film was definitely worth the matinee price I paid. I doubt I would see Beginners again; however, I would strongly recommend it to anyone who's interested in strong, real-life drama that's well-acted all around.

Rebecca Kyle, August 2011

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