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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.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Young Oliver
Party Person
Luke Diliberto ...
Green Witch
The Sads
Hana Jane ...
The Sads (as Hana Hwang)
Samuel T. Ritter ...
The Sads


It's 2003. Thirty-eight-year-old graphic artist Oliver Fields has just lost his father Hal Fields to cancer, after Oliver's mother Georgia Fields passed away five years earlier. Oliver is naturally a sullen man due to his growing up relationships with his parents (his mother who had a unique view on life) and watching his parents' cordial but somewhat distant relationship with each other, but is more so now because of his personal family losses. Oliver embarks on a relationship with Anna, a French actress, hoping that his re-energized relationship with Hal following Georgia's death, and Hal's new outlook on life during that time, will show Oliver how to act in a loving relationship. After Georgia's death, Hal came out of the closet and began to live with a joie de vivre that did not exist before, which included an open relationship with a much younger man named Andy. Oliver's relationship with Anna has other obstacles, including Anna's own vagabond lifestyle and Oliver needing to take... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This is what love feels like.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

9 June 2011 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Beginners, así se siente el amor  »

Box Office


$3,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$141,340 (USA) (3 June 2011)


$5,776,314 (USA) (2 September 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The "Siedem Razy Kobieta" poster, on the wall in Oliver's dining room, is from the Polish language version of the 1967 Shirley MacLaine film Woman Times Seven. See more »


When Oliver Fields is next to Hal Fields in his hospital bed, what appears to be Hal's glasses can be seen, but when Andy enters the room the glasses disappear. See more »


Oliver: Go and have your own experiences with your own people. I-I'll be right here. I'm a human. I'm not a dog. And-and you're a Jack Russell and that's a breed. Your personality was created by this guy John Russell, who was a hunting enthusiast in the 1800's, and he bred your ancestors for their stamina and their courage for the hunt. You think you're you and you want to chase the foxes, but... other people planted that in you years ago, and now, somewhat arbitrarily, you're considered very cute by ...
See more »


References Lady and the Tramp (1955) See more »


I'll Fly to Hawaii
Written by Ira Schuster, Joseph Schuster and Lou Davis
Performed by Brad Gowans
Courtesy of Cleopatra Records, Inc.
By arrangement with The Orchard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Not Too Late
15 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I got the chance to attend a sneak peek of director, Mike Mills', latest film last night at one of the Reel Affirmations film festival's monthly screenings. I like Mills' films. They've got a moody, tortured aesthetic, and this one is no different. The story is primarily about the relationship between a man, Oliver (Ewan McGregor), and his father, Hal (Christopher Plummer). When Hal dies, Oliver is left to contemplate his life, their relationship, and all the poor choices each of them had made up until this point. We see the world through Oliver's eyes, and so the whole film is suffused with an overall tone of deep sadness. He can't seem to make any of his romantic relationships work, but then he's never really had any good role models. You see, after the death of his mother four years prior, Hal finally came out to his son as gay—at the ripe age of seventy-five. It's a very touching, and lightly sweet moment. Oliver is happy that his father hasn't given up on life, and is finally pursuing true love, but he just can't forget the years of isolation and loneliness his mother went through. Commence the sad wallowing.

Of course, all this changes when Oliver meets an alluring, winsome French girl (Melanie Laurent). Anna is an actress, and she's just about as bad at relationships as Oliver. They don't know much about each other, but they're both beautiful, damaged souls, so they get on like a house on fire. And somehow, Oliver is thinking less and less about his parents. Those ladies can be mighty distracting! But, not distracting enough to totally conceal either of these attractive kids' inherent personality flaws. But they're pretty fetching while they're working out their demons!

This is a wonderful film. It really captures the deep emotions people feel for each other, and even lets the audience feel some of them for themselves. There were definitely moments during the screening that had people surreptitiously wiping tears from the corners of their eyes. But, it's also sexy and funny too. We get to enjoy Oliver and Anna's uncertain flirtation. And, we also get to savor Hal's belated (but not too late!) blossoming. He's as giddy and nervous as a school-girl at her first dance, but he ultimately takes to his new life like a fish to water, even as late to the game as he is. This movie is a real crowd pleaser, and it's one that just about everyone will enjoy. The pacing is deliberate and solemn, but the story sucks you in enough that you barely notice. You can even bring a date to this one. It's not one to miss.

37 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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