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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 film is partly autobiographical because many of the events that happened to Hal and Oliver are based on Mike Mills' experiences when his own father came out as gay and began a homosexual relationship after Mike's mother died. See more »


On Hal Fields' death certificate, it says "Date of death: 09/17/04". We know from the movie that he's already passed away in 2003. See more »


Anna: You look so unhappy.
Oliver: Well are you happy? Here?
Anna: Maybe I'm not perfect at it. I don't really know what I'm doing, but I want to be here.
See more »


Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.19 (2011) See more »


Written by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (as Joseph Ferdinand Morton)
Performed by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (as Jelly Roll Morton)
Courtesy of the Alan Lomax Library of Congress Recordings/New Rounder, LLC.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Powerfully Understated Piece Of Filmmaking
2 July 2014 | by (Worcester, England) – See all my reviews

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.

44 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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