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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 33 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Hal
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...
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Elliot
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Georgia
...
Young Oliver
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Shauna
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Liz
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Party Person
Luke Diliberto ...
Green Witch
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Magician
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The Sads
Hana Jane ...
The Sads (as Hana Hwang)
Samuel T. Ritter ...
The Sads
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is what love feels like.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

9 June 2011 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Beginners, así se siente el amor  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Coincidentally, one of Christopher Plummer's fellow supporting actor nominees the year he became the oldest acting Oscar-winner was Max von Sydow in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011). Von Sydow was also 82 at the time, albeit several months older. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Oliver: And I can really see Anna's eyes in 2003. Her ears. Her feet. This is what it looks like when she says, 'I love you,' in 2003. This is what it looks like when she cries. When she tells me there's always a new empty room waiting for her. They used to make her feel free. Now they make her feel the opposite of free.
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Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 29 July 2011 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Moon Waltz
Performed by Brian Reitzell
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Weird but wonderful
5 August 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

BEGINNERS is not an easy film. It's very 'talky' and jumps almost randomly between Oliver's boyhood, Hal's coming out and getting sick, and Oliver's on-off affair with zany Anna. Although set in sunny California, there are many under-lit scenes reminiscent of French New Wave cinema or early Woody Allens. Key episodes are, almost perversely, missing. Hal is largely absent from Oliver's mother-dominated boyhood; he later admits to having sex in mens-rooms but we don't see any of that. We see his decline and death but not his wife's. We are not shown any of Oliver's life between boyhood and his father's 'liberation'.

The performances are nothing less than brilliant. Christopher Plummer, plunging into gay life in his seventies and dying with curmudgeonly dignity, will very likely be nominated for an Oscar and miss out (like Colin Firth going down the gay road in A SINGLE MAN). Ewan McGregor gets perfectly under the skin of Oliver, who finds it easier to love his gay dad than commit to a new girlfriend. And Melanie Laurent's Anna is beguiling and disturbing; the viewer to feel what Oliver feels: you want to love her but something holds you back.

There is also a scene-stealing Jack Russell, Arthur, the love of Hal's life who becomes the love of Oliver's. A talking dog! – that is to say, writer/director Mike Mills gives Arthur subtitled thoughts every now and again. Kind of weird and kind of wonderful – kind of like the movie.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Can someone explain Plummer's acclaim? Hooker187
Adored the dog (arthur) sunny-29
So why the 'R' rating? dperron
'This is what ___ looks like' davidzvara
Arthur- the Cutest Dog in the history of Film? stu_humphreys2
Such an underrated movie wwolverine154
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