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Annette Bening stars as a single mother who recruits two women to help raise her son in this warm drama set in the late 70s
Director Mike Mills follows Beginners, his Oscar-winning study of the relationship between a son and his gay father, with another picture that takes as its jumping-off point the bond between parent and child. In the case of this late 70s-set cultural odyssey, the parent is gregarious, open-minded single mother Dorothea (the superb Annette Bening) and the child is Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), the teenage son she isn’t quite sure she can guide on his path to becoming a man.
To this end, she recruits the help of two other women to help raise him. Her lodger, Abbie (Greta Gerwig), is a photographer crowd surfing on the anger and energy of the new wave scene. And Julie (Elle Fanning) is Jamie’s best friend, a »
- Wendy Ide
For those outside of the fashion industry, the name Raf Simons might not immediately ring any bells. But even if you don’t know his name, you’ve undoubtedly seen his work given that he’s one of the most high profile and prolific fashion designers working in the industry right now. After a stint at the helm of Jil Sander, Christian Dior, and his eponymous brand, Simons has now found a new home at Calvin Klein. While he officially made his debut during men’s Nyfw at the beginning of February, this marks the first time he’s presented »
- Emily Kirkpatrick
20th Century Women, 2016.
Directed by Mike Mills.
Three women explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s, as viewed through the eyes of a teenage boy.
It’s the end of the 70s, punk and skateboarding are in full swing, Jimmy Carter’s in The White House and 60 is far from being the new 40. It’s also the world inhabited by Dorothea (Annette Bening), her teenage son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) and the rest of their unconventional “family” set-up, inside the crumbling walls of their Santa Barbara house. And, while it may not sound like it, 20th Century Women is a coming of age story.
Inevitably, part of it is Jamie’s own story, maturing into a young adult, trying to understand the older people around him and dealing with his raging hormones. »
- Freda Cooper
Annette Bening gives a fine central performance but this kooky comedy suffers badly from unfocused direction and an unmistakable air of self-indulgence
With tender, personal movies such as Thumbsucker (2005) and Beginners (2010), director Mike Mills has tested taboos and shed light on family, identity and masculinity. His quirkily intimate work has always needed a certain level of indulgence and in the past I’ve been happy to give it. But 20th Century Women tests this tolerance to breaking point. Annette Bening is well cast, and gives a well judged performance, a variation on her uptight and self-questioning mom from American Beauty. However, the film is exasperatingly supercilious and smug – unfocused, self-consciously cute, nostalgic and empathetic, but never properly funny. It feels like someone else’s long therapy session.
The setting is Santa Monica, 1979, and Dorothea (Bening) is a fiftysomething single mother with bold progressive instincts. She is bringing up her teenage »
- Peter Bradshaw
Allison Williams changed up her look in a big way during a recent magazine shoot.
While we're used to seeing the 28-year-old actress as a beautiful brunette, she covers Allure's March cover rocking bold, platinum blonde hair.
Williams talks about her new 'do with the magazine, and calls it "fun."
"I like it," she says. "Especially this blonde -- it feels like it is just a new twist on the same old me. It's just hair! But it's fun. Maybe I'll become this gorgeous bombshell vixen. Or maybe I'll still just be the adult-spelling-bee spirit I've always been. I bet people won't recognize me, and that's gonna be a fun reveal with my friends."
"I think if I'd used my middle name professionally -- Howell Williams -- I'd have a totally different career," she adds. "I'd »
MaryAnn’s quick take… Poignant and hilarious and wise, a melancholy ode to a moment when the world was changing for women (and men)… and how it still and always is. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for stories about women
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Sex, some, though more awkwardness and regrets than action. Not much in the way of drugs; just some beer, oh, and lots of cigarettes; it has several points to make about cigarettes, actually. Rock ’n’ roll, definitely: an ongoing battle between punk and “art fag” music (think: Talking Heads).
Plenty of talk about women’s orgasms, which — hey! — 20th Century Women reminds us does not automatically fall under the Sex heading the way it does for men. And a scene around a dinner table in which menstruation and painful virginity-losing is discussed, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
20th Century Women review, Paul Heath, 2017.
20th Century Women review
Every once in a while a film comes along out of nowhere and grabs you with its relatable themes, character studies and outstanding acting. I’ve just seen 20th Century Women, which is absolutely one of those films.
The film isn’t really about the story, but a world and a time and the people that occupy it. It is 1979 Santa Barbara, a city on the central Californian coast, mostly known for its Spanish heritage and fine wines, but in 20th Century Women it’s all about Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a fifty-something divorcee with a teenage son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), two needy lodgers and a forty-a-day cigarette habit. »
- Paul Heath
Author: Stefan Pape
In spite of the majority female cast, and the what the title of this Mike Mills title alludes to, 20th Century Women scrutinises over what it means to be a man. For at the centre of this multi-faceted drama is a coming-of-age narrative, of a teenage boy trying to find his way in life, and discover exactly who he is, and who he wants to be. What transpires is a unique, indelible slice of contemporary cinema, studying the importance of values, feminism, and understanding and appreciating women – and how all of those things can shape, and inform masculinity.
Taking place in Southern California in 1979, we enter into the chaotic abode of Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), where she single-handedly raises her 16 year old son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), but the older he gets the less she understands him, and having given up on her lodger, and pottery enthusiast »
- Stefan Pape
Time for something fun. As we wait for ballots to go out to Academy members and final Oscar voting to get underway, why not play around with a hypothetical situation? Now is the time to do it, after all. This is something I’ve done from time to time in the past, which is to look at what the Oscar nominations could have looked like if you remove all of the actual nominees. Weird, I know, but hey, it’s fun. Plus, it’s certainly more apt than ever to do this in our new era of “alternative facts”, right? This isn’t a political post, but I couldn’t resist the dig at Donald Trump and company. Below you will see what these alternate Academy Award nominations could have been. In some categories, it’s easy to speculate, like with Best Picture and how films like 20th Century Women, »
- Joey Magidson
Natalie Portman is simply stunning!
The 35-year-old actress, who is expecting her second child with husband Benjamin Millepied, is featured on the cover of Vanity Fair's Hollywood Issue, chic in a powder pink off-the-shoulder gown alongside Emma Stone, Greta Gerwig, Amy Adams, Aja Naomi King, Ruth Negga, Lupita Nyong'o, Janelle Monae, Dakota Johnson and sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning.
Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair
And if she wasn't breathtaking enough on the cover, the black-and-white pic of her inside the magazine, shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, is mesmerizing.
Wearing only a sheet wrapped around her body ever so perfectly, Portman looks stunning, gazing into the camera while cradling her baby bump.
Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair
The brunette beauty was nominated for her third Oscar earlier »
One of the greatest awards seasons traditions is upon us the Vanity Fair "Hollywood" Issue. Last year we had a superstar cover and the year before that a mix of rising stars both male and female but Vf likes to alter the mix each year and so we're back to where they began this tradition 22 years ago with a group of youngish female stars of the now. The covergirls this year are: Emma Stone, Lupita Nyong'o, Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Ruth Negga, Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Aja Naomi King, Dakota Johnson, Greta Gerwig, and Janelle Monáe.
Let's take a closer look after the jump...
- NATHANIEL R
Natalie Portman is posing for two!
The 35-year-old star, who recently received her third Oscar nomination for her work in Jackie, is among the brilliant actresses gracing the cover of Vanity Fair‘s Hollywood Issue. However, it’s her portfolio photo that’s turning even more heads.
In a subtle homage to Demi Moore‘s iconic August 1991 cover of the magazine, Portman gazes towards the camera while holding her exposed baby bump, covered only by a silk white stole. Both photos were taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.
“It was about capturing Natalie at her most radiant,” said Vanity Fair »
- Stephanie Petit
The 28-year-old actress covers Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue alongside Natalie Portman, Greta Gerwig, Amy Adams, Aja Naomi King, Ruth Negga, Lupita Nyong'o, Janelle Monae, Dakota Johnson and sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning. The 11 actresses have 12 Oscar nominations and two wins among them, while three of the stars -- Stone, Portman and Negga, are up for Oscars this year.
Annie Leibovitz exclusively for Vanity Fair
Gosling is also nominated for his lead role in La La Land, and Stone reveals to the magazine the one thing that most fans don't know about her handsome co-star.
"Ryan can eat more Twizzlers than anyone you've ever met," she quips. "[On set], he would keep [them] in his coat pocket and just hand out Twizzlers and eat Twizzlers himself. ...That was his move on La La Land."
Watch: Emma Stone's Amazing Golden Globe Night -- From Freaking Out Over »
They truly look like wonder women. Pregnant Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Amy Adams, Lupita Nyong'o, Ruth Negga, sisters Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning, Dakota Johnson, Greta Gerwig, Aja Naomi King and Janelle Monáe are the stars of Vanity Fair's 2017 Hollywood issue, and the cover is nothing short of glamorous. Wearing hues of pink, gold and red, the A-list stars stare deadpan into the lens of famed photographer Annie Leibovitz's camera, proving that they really are the women running Hollywood. Just take a look at the statistics: among the 11 cover stars are 12 Oscar nominations and two wins. Three of this year's Best Actress nominees—Stone, Portman and Negga—are »
The nominations for the 89th Academy Award nominations elicited joy from nominees around the world. You can catch up with the nominees here, but don’t forget to check out their reactions below.
“Being recognized this way by the Academy is a huge honor. I feel very lucky I got to make this personal film, that it’s resonated with people is very meaningful to me. My script would not be anything without the miraculously talented Annette Bening at its heart, and Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup and Lucas Zumann, all of whom brought the words and ideas to life with so much love and intelligence.
- Gregory Ellwood
Directed by Todd Solondz.
A sprightly dachshund provides the connecting link between four tales of e/ccentricity, disenchantment and dysfunction.
A Weiner-dog (or sausage dog in the UK) is another name for a dachshund, and the variously monikered creature is the common feature in this anthology film of four overarching chapters. Brought to the screen by indie-stalwart Todd Solondz, known for acerbic dark comic dramas Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness, Wiener-Dog is an oddly unfulfilling affair. Given the themes of depression and disillusionment, this is not entirely surprising, but the project also has the sense of being slightly under-cooked. Without giving too much away, for many the ending will leave a bitter taste, which again, is not too much of a surprise given Solondz’s previous work. It also leaves »
- Robert W Monk
"He talked about you all the time," Bening said with a smile during an appearance on Friday's The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
DeGeneres noted that Beatty's crush was "fruitless," to which Bening playfully replied, "I didn't want to share that with him."
The 58-year-old actress also dished on the couple's upcoming 25th wedding anniversary, revealing why her husband is better at buying presents.
"I'm easier to buy gifts for," she said, sharing that the first anniversary present that she received from Beatty was a "beautiful wishbone pin."
"Our house was damaged very badly in the ’94 [Northridge, California] earthquake, in fact it was destroyed, and I lost the pin," Bening recalled. "One day, maybe »
Oscar predictions are already up for Best Supporting Actress.
Will Greta Gerwig read good news or bad next week?
If there's a sudden shift look for either Greta Gerwig or Janelle Monae to spoil... or enliven the party, depending on your preferences. "Spoiler" is such a weird word in this context, no? Regardless, it will be a good year for the Academy in Supporting Actress with all seven of those performances that ranging from quite good to phenomenal; we'll take it!
But it's not my personal ballot and that's not only because I consider Viola Davis a lead in Fences (I realize others feel differently). Three of those names above, however, do make my personal list. The two I'd like to add to the mix are Riley Keough, »
- NATHANIEL R
In this deliciously melancholy and offbeat indie comedy, iconic director Todd Solondz resurrects Dawn Wiener, the awkward lead from his 1995 breakout hit Welcome To The Dollhouse, to deliver one of his funniest films to date. Here played beautifully by Greta Gerwig, Dawn appears in just one of four interlinked stories of American life that connect an affluent suburban family, a frustrated screenwriting teacher, an elderly depressive and Dawn herself. A bracingly funny, often moving film, Wiener-Dog sees Solondz tackle typically bold and tricky themes with caustic wit and shrewd observation – and better yet, he does so with the generosity and optimism to ultimately let the dog steal the show.
Please note: This competition is open to UK residents only
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This weekend, you can see a good movie for an even better cause.
Thanks to the studio behind 20th Century Women, A24, a portion of ticket sales from the movie’s opening weekend will benefit Planned Parenthood, an organization that played a surprisingly big role in the film’s development.
The film, loosely based on childhood of its director, Mike Mills, tells the story of a boy growing up in the 1970s whose mother, played by Annette Bening, seeks the help of two other women, played by Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning, to raise her son.
In the special featurette above, »
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