An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Richard E. Grant
In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives for ever.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
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 relationship 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 loss. Oliver embarks on a relationship with Anna, a French actress. Oliver is 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... Written by
Oliver (Ewan McGregor) goes to a fancy party as Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, but his accent is more Bavarian than Austrian. See more »
Go and have experiences with your own people. I'll be right here... I'm a human. I'm not a dog... 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 us humans. ...
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For a film with such a haunting and depressing scenario, 'Beginners' is a surprisingly powerful and perceptive piece of cinema. When I first read the synopsis, I was a bit doubtful about the concept and was uncertain as to whether it was worth a watch, however after learning that the film was partially autobiographical and based on the life of writer-director Mike Mills, I decided to give it a try, convinced by the inspiration of Mills' first-person experiences. 'Beginners' blends comedy and romance against a dramatic backdrop in order to create a charming and character-driven story. In my opinion, it is Christopher Plummer's Oscar-winning performance that really sells the picture accompanied by some assuring performances from Ewan McGregor and Mélanie Laurent. 'Beginners' is a powerfully understated piece of independent filmmaking that maintains it's emotional resonance from start to finish.
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