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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.

Director:

Mike Mills

Writer:

Mike Mills
Won 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ewan McGregor ... Oliver
Christopher Plummer ... Hal
Mélanie Laurent ... Anna
Goran Visnjic ... Andy
Kai Lennox ... Elliot
Mary Page Keller ... Georgia
Keegan Boos ... Young Oliver
China Shavers ... Shauna
Melissa Tang ... Liz
Amanda Payton ... Party Person
Luke Diliberto Luke Diliberto ... Green Witch
Lou Taylor Pucci ... Magician
Bambadjan Bamba ... The Sads
Hana Jane Hana Jane ... The Sads (as Hana Hwang)
Samuel T. Ritter Samuel T. Ritter ... The Sads
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Storyline

In 2003, 38-year-old graphic artist Oliver Fields has just lost his father Hal to cancer, 5 years after his mother Georgia's death. Oliver is naturally sullen because of his relationships with his parents growing up (especially his mother, who had a unique view of life) and watching their cordial but somewhat distant marital relationship, but he's more so now as he deals with his personal losses. He embarks on a relationship with French actress Anna, hoping that his re-energized relationship with Hal following Georgia's death, and Hal's new outlook on life, will show him how to act in a loving relationship. After Georgia's death, Hal came out of the closet and began to live with a new joie de vivre and have an open relationship with Andy, a much-younger man. Oliver's relationship with Anna has other obstacles, including her own vagabond lifestyle and Oliver inheriting Arthur, Hal's very needy Jack Russell terrier. 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

9 June 2011 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Beginners, así se siente el amor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$141,340, 5 June 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,790,894, 8 September 2011

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,311,701, 27 February 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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: Why are you telling them you're turning the corner?
Hal: Well, uh...
Oliver: You, you have stage four cancer.
Hal: It's not as bad as it sounds.
Oliver: Pop - there is no stage five.
Hal: [chuckles] That's not what it means.
Oliver: Well, then what does it mean?
Hal: It just means that it's been through three other stages.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Descendants (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Moon Waltz
(uncredited)
Performed by Brian Reitzell
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not Too Late
15 May 2011 | by MyFilmHabitSee 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.


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