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Beginners (2010) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 34 | slideshow) Videos (see all 9)
Beginners -- 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.
Beginners -- Clip: Joy Of Sex
Beginners -- A look at the making of the movie Beginners
Beginners -- Interview: "Melanie Laurent On Mike Mills Bonding Rehearsals"
Beginners -- Clip: Fatherly Advice


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Mike Mills (written by)
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Release Date:
9 June 2011 (Germany) See more »
This is what love feels like.
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 37 wins & 18 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A deeply original and profound piece. See more (131 total) »


  (in credits order)

Ewan McGregor ... Oliver Fields

Christopher Plummer ... Hal Fields

Mélanie Laurent ... Anna

Goran Visnjic ... Andy

Kai Lennox ... Elliot

Mary Page Keller ... Georgia

Keegan Boos ... Young Oliver Fields

China Shavers ... Shauna

Melissa Tang ... Liz

Amanda Payton ... Party Person
Luke Diliberto ... Green Witch

Lou Taylor Pucci ... Magician

Bambadjan Bamba ... The Sads
Hana Jane ... The Sads (as Hana Hwang)
Samuel T. Ritter ... The Sads

Jennifer Lauren ... Record Company Rep

Reynaldo Pacheco ... Juan

Jodi Long ... Dr. Long

Bruce French ... Dr. Wright
Leslie Shea ... ICU Nurse #1

Michael Chieffo ... Hal's Priest

Jennifer Hasty ... Secretary

Rodney Saulsberry ... 1978 Museum Staff
June Sanders ... 1978 Fancy Woman

Catherine McGoohan ... 1978 Older Woman

Terry Walters ... Terse Nurse

Lana Young ... ICU Nurse #2

Algerita Wynn ... Nice Nurse (as Algerita Lewis)

Regina McKee Redwing ... Strict Nurse (as Regina Redwing)
Sunday Burke ... Home Nurse #1
Patrick Birkett ... Hal Look-Alike
Sabera Wise ... Skating Rink Manager

Rafael J. Noble ... Brian

Jose Yenque ... Robert
T.G. Cody ... The Primetimers
Patrick Scott ... The Primetimers
Ton Suckhasem ... The Primetimers
Charles Valentino ... The Primetimers
Seth T. Walker ... The Primetimers (as Seth Walker)
Michael Laren ... The Primetimers (as Michael Wilhelms)

Cosmo ... Arthur
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jessica Elder ... Cat Dancer (uncredited)
Sean Grady ... Dancer at Bar (uncredited)

Shelley Robertson ... Hotel Manager (uncredited)

Joanna Theobalds ... Nurse's Aide (uncredited)

Directed by
Mike Mills 
Writing credits
Mike Mills (written by)

Produced by
Miranda de Pencier .... producer
Fran Giblin .... co-producer
Lars Knudsen .... producer
Geoff Linville .... co-producer
Joan Scheckel .... executive producer
Leslie Urdang .... producer
Jay Van Hoy .... producer
Dean Vanech .... producer
Original Music by
Roger Neill 
Dave Palmer  (as David Palmer)
Brian Reitzell 
Cinematography by
Kasper Tuxen (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Olivier Bugge Coutté  (as Olivier Bugge Coutte)
Casting by
Nicole Daniels 
Courtney Sheinin  (as Courtney Bright)
Production Design by
Shane Valentino 
Set Decoration by
Coryander Friend 
Costume Design by
Jennifer Johnson 
Makeup Department
John Arsineault .... key hair stylist: additional photography
Ginger Damon .... additional hair stylist
Julie Anna Kehoe .... hair stylist: New York
Veronica Lorenz .... additional makeup artist
Frances Mathias .... hair department head
Frances Mathias .... key hair stylist: additional photography
Tina Roesler Kerwin .... key makeup artist: additional photography
Tina Roesler Kerwin .... makeup department head
Roxy D'Alonzo .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Anthony Brandonisio .... production executive: Olympus Pictures
Fran Giblin .... unit production manager
Rod Smith .... unit production manager: additional photography
Carrie Tyson .... production supervisor (as Carrie A. Tyson)
Erik S. Weigel .... production supervisor: New York (as Erik Weigel)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Neil Daly .... first assistant director: New York
Patrick Huber .... second assistant director: New York
Joe Roddey .... second assistant director
Joe Roddey .... second assistant director: additional photography
Rod Smith .... first assistant director
Rod Smith .... first assistant director: additional photography
Marc Turchin .... second second assistant director
Art Department
Thomas A. Delillo .... leadman: New York (as Tom Delillo)
Chris Eguia .... property master: additional photography
Perry E. Ellis .... leadman (as Perry Ellis)
Melissa Gelmo .... assistant property master (as Missy Gelmo)
Robert Greenfield .... set dresser
Daniel Karasele .... set dresser
Carol Kiefer .... art department coordinator
Daniel Kuzmick .... set dresser
Allan Lane .... set dresser
Chris Larsen .... leadman: additional photography
Michael F. Loomer .... on-set dresser (as Mike Loomer)
Joe Mason .... art department assistant
Bob New .... set dresser (as Robert New)
Cynthia Nibler .... property master
David Potter .... set dresser
Anthony Rice .... set dresser
Brana Rosenfeld .... set decorator: additional photography
Corey Swartsel .... set dresser: additional photography
Gerald Willard .... set dresser
Kate Zarvis .... scenic (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bryan Arenas .... dolby sound consultant
Paul Timothy Carden .... adr supervisor
Ryan Collins .... assistant sound editor
Lara Dale .... foley artist
Brian Dunlop .... foley editor
Ellen Heuer .... foley artist
Christine Huynh .... sound utility
Christine Huynh .... sound
Tim Limer .... mix recordist (as Timothy Limer)
Travis MacKay .... adr mixer
Nancy MacLeod .... sound effects editor
Teferra McKenzie .... sound mixer: New York
Michael Mesirow .... boom operator: additional photography (as Mike Mesirow)
Brendan Jamieson O'Brien .... boom operator: New York (as Brendan O'Brien)
Sarah Payan .... dialogue editor (as Sarah Rudolph Payan)
A. Josh Reinhardt .... foley mixer (as Josh Reinhardt)
James Ridgley .... sound mixer: additional photography
Leslie Shatz .... sound designer
Leslie Shatz .... sound re-recording mixer
Callie Thurman .... assistant sound editor
Susumu Tokunow .... sound mixer
Mandell Winter .... dialogue editor
Zach Wrobel .... boom operator
Vincent Cosson .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Eric Elias .... pyrotechnic fireworks coordinator
Martin Rosenstock .... pyrotechnician
Rebecca Timohovich .... pyrotechnician
Visual Effects by
Wes Ball .... visual effects: Oddball Animation
Justin Barber .... visual effects: Oddball Animation
Bradley Hawkins .... visual effects: Oddball Animation (as Brad Hawkins)
Ryland Jones .... visual effects: Oddball Animation
Robert Alonzo .... utility stunts
Matt Baker .... utility stunts
Allison Caetano .... stunt double: Anna
Nash Edgerton .... stunt coordinator
Nash Edgerton .... stunt double: Ewan McGregor
Daniel Stevens .... stunt double: Elliot
Camera and Electrical Department
Christopher Blauvelt .... director of photography: additional photography
Bob Bradshaw .... company grip
Aaron Burden .... best boy grip: additional photography (as AJ Burden)
David Chameides .... steadicam operator
Andrew Chojnacki .... key grip (as Andy Chojnacki)
Andrew Chojnacki .... key grip: additional photography (as Andy Chojnacki)
Pat Fitzpatrick .... assistant chief lighting technician
Pat Fitzpatrick .... best boy electric (as Patrick Fitzpatrick)
Greg Flores .... company grip
Trevor Fulks .... best boy grip
Erik Guldbech .... gaffer: New York (as Eric Guldbech)
Lauren Haber .... second assistant camera: New York
Stephen MacDougall .... first assistant camera: additional photography
Jen O'Leary .... camera assistant
Joseph Paolini .... key grip: New York (as Joe Paolini)
David Parson .... second assistant camera: additional photography
Jeffrey W. Petersen .... gaffer (as Jeff Petersen)
Jeffrey W. Petersen .... gaffer: additional photography (as Jeff Petersen)
Jeffrey W. Petersen .... supplier: lighting equipment (as Jeff Petersen)
Keith Putnam .... red camera technician: New York
Christopher Raymond .... first assistant camera: New York (as Chris Raymond)
Jan Ruona .... first assistant camera
Adam Richard Sklena .... camera operator (as Adam Sklena)
Davon Slininger .... second assistant camera: additional photography
Jennifer Stuart .... additional second assistant camera
Bret Suding .... red camera technician
Randy Tepper .... still photographer (as Andrew Tepper)
Noah Thomson .... second assistant camera
Lance Hashida .... red camera technician (uncredited)
John Pedone .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Bill Dance .... extras casting: Bill Dance Casting
Terence Harris .... extras casting: Bill Dance Casting
Sheri Tucker .... extras casting: Bill Dance Casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kristen Bothekan .... costume assistant
Abigail Chapin .... costume assistant
Kameron Lennox .... costume supervisor (as Kameron 'Kammy' Lennox)
Kameron Lennox .... costume supervisor: additional photography (as Kameron 'Kammy' Lennox)
Sandra Poland .... set costumer
Editorial Department
Aaron Beckum .... post-production photoshop artist
Milan Boncich .... digital intermediate colorist
Paul Brady .... digital intermediate technician: additional photography
Anthony Brandonisio .... additional assistant editor: additional photography
Anthony Brandonisio .... post-production coordinator
Tana David .... post facility coordinator
John Eremic .... digital intermediate producer (as John 'Pliny' Eremic)
Sam Geer .... editorial intern
Drew Kilcoin .... first assistant editor
Rosemary H. Marez .... editorial intern (as Rosemary Marez)
Eddie Mikasa .... editorial intern
Benjamin Moses Smith .... digital intermediate conformer
Gilbert Carreras .... color timer (uncredited)
Music Department
Tina Guo .... cello
Sanaz Lavaedian .... music clearance coordinator
Michael Perfitt .... score engineer
Eric Thorngren .... score mixer (as Eric 'ET' Thorngren)
Robin Urdang .... music supervisor
Cory Wood .... music supervisor intern (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Jose. A. Anaya .... driver: catering
Ron Annunziata .... driver
Corey Askins .... transportation captain
Bill Benedict .... driver
Bib Ditler .... driver
Brian D. Hall .... driver (as Brian Hall)
Ross W. Holzer .... driver
Joe Johnson .... driver: New York
Todd Story .... driver
Chad Wadsworth .... driver
Ted Joneson .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Sean Afsahi .... production assistant: additional photography
Jose A. Anaya .... head chef
Amanda Beckner .... archival research
Aaron Beckum .... production assistant: additional photography
Katri Billard .... script supervisor: New York
Christopher W. Bodell .... representative: Olympus Capital Investments
Zoe Bower .... post-production facilities manager
Ashly Burch .... production office intern
Rachel Cofield .... assistant: Mr. Vanech (as Rachel Lucera-Fein)
Rita Colimon .... assistant: Ms. Urdang
Matilda de Cagny .... head animal trainer
André Des Rochers .... production legal services (as Andre Des Rochers)
Christine Detizio .... accounting manager: Olympus Power
Steve Giardina .... production assistant: New York
James Drew Hamilton .... production office intern (as Drew Hamilton)
Megan Hawkins .... representative: Olympus Threatricals
Elizabeth Himelstein .... dialect coach
Kathleen Jensen .... production assistant: additional photography
Lucas Joaquin .... assistant: Mr. Van Hoy and Mr. Knudsen
Anne Kelly .... production office intern
Gray Krauss .... production legal services
Christopher Kubek .... set production assistant: second unit, New Mexico
Derrick Landry .... production accountant
Sean P. Lane .... general counsel and secretary: Olympus Power
Rafael Lima .... location manager: New York
Gerry Maravilla .... production office intern (as Gerardo 'Gerry' Maravilla)
Philip W. McCartin .... tax and risk management: Olympus Power
Tammy Mikalouskas .... manager of human resources: Olympus Power
Christopher Miller .... location manager
Ross Miller .... insurance agent: D.R. Reiff & Associates
Dan Milner .... key assistant location manager
Sarah Soquel Morhaim .... assistant: Mr. Mills
Jean Nakahara .... production office coordinator
Geraldine Needle .... studio teacher
Rose Ordile .... animal colorist
Roy Ott .... controller: Olympus Pwer
Brigitte Pauli .... first assistant accountant
Joanne M. Piasecki .... treasurer: Olympus Power
Michael M. Piehler .... assistant location manager
Justin Pierret .... production assistant: New York
Steve Pines .... accounting services (as Steven R. Pines)
Jose Plasencia .... assistant chef
Shima Razavi .... assistant: Mr McGregor
Gregory Riches .... additional legal services: O'Melveny and Myers
Michelle Roca .... set production assistant
Riel Roch Decter .... assistant: Ms. Urdang
Riel Roch Decter .... office production assistant
Stephen Scharf .... additional legal services: O'Melveny and Myers
Glenn Schneider .... caterer: The Event Department
Dan Sharnoff .... production assistant: New York
Leslie Shea .... medical advisor
Natasha Shumny .... post facilities coordinator
Sussie Sims .... accounting services
Doree Sitterly .... additional animal trainer
Kris Smith .... script supervisor
Kristin Starns .... assistant production office coordinator
Hirotatsu Taniguchi .... key set production assistant
Liz Timperman .... representative: Olympus Threatricals (as Elizabeth Timperman)
Nick Tolmasov .... set medic
Suzy Vaughan .... script clearance researcher: Clearances Unlimited
Jim Welch .... set production assistant: second unit, New Mexico
Jonathan West .... additional legal services: O'Melveny and Myers
Ian B. Williams .... assistant: Ms. De Pencier (as Ian Williams)
Skyler Wilman .... insurance agent: D.R. Reiff & Associates
Meredith Wurzbach .... insurance agent: D.R. Reiff & Associates
Jason Ybarra .... key craft service (as Jason 'Buckaroo' Ybarra)
Svetlana Zill .... archival research
Monica Donati .... press attache: France (uncredited)
Hahnah Jackson .... production assistant (uncredited)
Gillian Jacobs .... stand-in: reshoots (uncredited)
Harold Manning .... french adaptation: original version with subtitles (uncredited)
Christopher Neil .... rehearsal advisor (uncredited)
Alex Scharfman .... archival research (uncredited)
Sue Yeon Ahn .... thanks (as Sue Ahn)
Kay Babcock .... thanks
Rick Bolton .... thanks
Roman Coppola .... thanks
Jonathan Dayton .... thanks
David Eastin .... still image of Anna's ex-boyfriend with cat courtesy of
Rachel Eastin .... still image of Anna's ex-boyfriend with cat courtesy of
Valerie Faris .... thanks (as Valerie Ferris)
Kim Hamilton .... special thanks
Youree Henley .... thanks
Spike Jonze .... thanks
Miranda July .... thanks
Megan Kitchen .... thanks
Linda Lichter .... special thanks
Andrea Longacre-White .... thanks
Katie Mills .... thanks
Carine Pichonnat .... special thanks
Lou Pitt .... special thanks
Scott Rudin .... special thanks
JoAnne Sellar .... thanks
Jacki Sextro .... thanks
Jon Tenney .... very special thanks
Angus Wall .... special thanks
Mike White .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language and some sexual content
105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

At 82 years of age, Christopher Plummer won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for this film and became the oldest person to ever win an Oscar for acting.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Oliver (Ewan McGregor) goes to a fancy party as Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, but his accent is more Bavarian than Austrian.See more »
Hal:Well, let's say that since you were little, you always dreamed of getting a lion. And you wait, and you wait, and you wait, and you wait but the lion doesn't come. And along comes a giraffe. You can be alone, or you can be with the giraffe.
Oliver:I'd wait for the lion.
Hal:That's why I worry about you.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Everything's Made for Love (You Know I Know)See more »


Is this film based on a book?
See more »
58 out of 73 people found the following review useful.
A deeply original and profound piece., 17 October 2011
Author: Rockwell_Cronenberg from United States

Mike Mills' 2005 debut Thumbsucker is a film whose quirky charm was completely lost on me, but where that film was drenched in artificiality, he somehow turned that charm into something grounded and serene with his sophomore feature Beginners. This is a movie that honestly transcends words, for me. The kind of impact it had on me will never be able to be described, but it's one that touched me at my soul and deeply moved me in a profound way. The film is built around this message from Mills' personal life that you have the capacity to assess your situation at any point in life and make a change for the better. However, in the most un-Hollywood sense, Mills never beats you over the head with the message or panders to it's audience; it just exists in it's own world and you can embrace it or not, but the film doesn't exist solely for that reason. It may not particularly exist for any reason, it just exists and for me, that was all it needed to do to hit me right in the heart.

In taking on a subject matter as emotionally strong as this (a father coming out of the closet at a late age and then being diagnosed with terminal cancer), Mills was open to a plethora of moments for overbearing melodrama to bring the audience to tears, but he never embraces this in a traditional way at all. He treats the subject with this delicate, grounded approach that feels fully original and honestly quite daring in it's subtlety, leading to an experience much more effective than if he had gone the traditional route. His background in graphic design leads to some wonderfully charming editing techniques and Woody Allen circa Annie Hall uniqueness in the story structure, but it never overpowers the center that is ultimately a charming, emotional and entirely natural character study. The study of a young man finally seeing who his father is, contrasted with his first experience in true love. All three of the central characters charmed me off my feet, but Mills creates genuine, flawed and sometimes annoying human beings out of all of them.

Once again, as with everything else in the film, he transcends the general approach and just creates these full, real human beings. Oliver and Anna instantly became one of my favorite couples in the history of cinema, with the incomparable chemistry between Ewan McGregor and Melanie Laurent, and Hal reminded me so much of my grandfather it really brought me to tears several times. Mills plays everything in an understated way, but by doing this he allows the film to really get under your skin and sink in, a much more effective technique than just hitting you on the surface over and over again. The performances by all three are truly out of this world.

I find McGregor to be a great talent who rarely gets the opportunity to demonstrate that, but this character allows him to give his finest performance to date. He is so grounded and honest in his portrayal, bringing comedy both light and dark along with genuine emotion that sunk into me deeply over and over again. I related to his faults and his gifts and McGregor really made me feel like I understood this guy through and through. Laurent is a delight and makes you fall in love with her almost instantly; again I have to mention the overwhelming chemistry that the two of these had. Before we even got a chance to fully comprehend their relationship, I was in tears by the simple act of them holding hands with one another. Mills and Laurent take a character that could have been conventional and tossed aside for the father-son dynamic and make a fully-fleshed person out of her, complete with her own demons and turmoil and I fell in love with her all the way.

Then comes Christopher Plummer as Oliver's father, who is everything you could want from this guy; charming, chaotic, filled with life and regret. He's absolutely enchanting and devastating simultaneously, a guy that makes you want to live your life to fullest potential. In fact, enchanting is a word that is perfect for the film as a whole. Beyond the authenticity and the emotional impact that it had on me (which is not small by any notion), the film truly seems to dance at times and it's in those moments that I felt something...beautiful and serene beyond anything that words could hope to encapsulate. This movie transcended everything for me.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (131 total) »

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Can someone explain Plummer's acclaim? Hooker187
Oliver's Job? Spoilers Maybe beradhimself
Do you think Anna and Oliver stayed together? tom_ungvarsky
name of movie mwithglasses
Such an underrated movie wwolverine154
Why was there a British Flag in Oliver's Room? little_stephan
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