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
Cosmo was cast out of all the Jack Russells that Mike Mills saw because the director felt that the dog had a million-year-old soul and because of his ability to look at you directly in the eyes. 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 »
We didn't know how we learned the stories in our heads, but sometimes they stopped running, 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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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.
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