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
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 »
[returning from Andy]
I couldn't tell him.
No, it's not. You can't hide this from him. He loves you.
For someone with so much relationship advice, you seem awfully alone.
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Beginners is a great film that will not satisfy a few viewers, as evidenced by other comments here. First, here's what it will not do: it will not feed you a linear story with a single, simple plot. The beauty of this film is in its complexity, which faithfully reflects the dynamics of real life. There are flashbacks. There is highly cinematic use of material that is intended to suggest mood, rather than deliver it with dead dialog. Yes, the dog gets a few subtitles, highly credible for anyone who has ever owned a dog. There is even a brief moment in which solid colors flash on the screen, and we occasionally visit the protagonist's revealing sketches. There is a message in all of this that some will not appreciate. Several stories are magically woven together: the son's difficulty in maintaining a relationship, the girlfriend's own hesitation to commit to one place and one person, the mother's endurance of a marriage that worked on only one level, the father's adjustment to his new gay life, and his boyfriend's worries that he is not accepted because he is gay. Whew! That's a lot to cram into one story, but it works remarkably well and we see in the end that all the characters were what the title said, Beginners.
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