7.3/10
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91 user 215 critic

20th Century Women (2016)

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The story of a teenage boy, his mother, and two other women who help raise him among the love and freedom of Southern California of 1979.

Director:

Mike Mills

Writer:

Mike Mills
Reviews
Popularity
3,785 ( 9)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 70 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Annette Bening ... Dorothea Fields
Elle Fanning ... Julie
Greta Gerwig ... Abbie
Billy Crudup ... William
Lucas Jade Zumann ... Jamie
Alison Elliott ... Mrs. Hamlin - Julie's Mother
Thea Gill ... Gail - Abbie's Mother
Vitaly Andrew LeBeau ... Young Jamie (as Vitaly A. Lebeau)
Olivia Hone Olivia Hone ... Julie's Sister
Waleed Zuaiter ... Charlie
Curran Walters ... Matt
Darrell Britt-Gibson ... Julian
Alia Shawkat ... Trish
Nathalie Love ... Cindy
Cameron Protzman ... Teen in Therapy
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Storyline

Love, life, and the struggles of a mother bringing up a son in the the late 70's. The ignorance of a free spirit against the needs of a young man trying to find his true character and beliefs. Living in a bohemian household shared with 3 like minded spirited people to help pay the rent, his mother tries to establish bonds that he cannot deal with. She cannot deal with his inability to talk, and enlists the help of other females in his life to share the burden of his upbringing. Slowly life unravels for them all without understanding how. In spite of their perceived struggles, they all go on to live defined lives without any serious consequences. Written by Peter Cox

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual material, language, some nudity and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

A24 Films | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Twentieth Century Women See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$111,200, 1 January 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,663,855, 28 April 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,757,620, 21 March 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house location was used for the exterior shots in the film adaptation of Running with Scissors (2006), also starring Annette Bening. See more »

Goofs

One of the stocks shown in the newspaper is ServiceNow (NOW) which was founded in 2003 and came public in 2012. See more »

Quotes

Dorothea: I know him less every day.He said it was just a game.You breathe real hard and another kid.He said you're supposed to come to a few seconds later. But it took Jamie almost a half an hour to wake up.
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Soundtracks

Lila Engel (Lilac Angel)
Written by Klaus Dinger & Michael Rother
Performed by Neu!
Courtesy of Groenland Records
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User Reviews

 
20th Century Women (2016)
14 January 2017 | by rockman182See all my reviews

Elle Fanning uggh yes. Okay, now that that's out of the way lets get to this film. This seemed like an unconventional coming of age film and that is basically what this was. Its not a mindblowingly amazing film and has some flaws. However, what I thought was a flaw may have worked for another viewer. What I can say though, is that the film left a better impression on me than I thought it would.

The performances of this film are great, particularly that of Greta Gerwig and Annette Bening. Gerwig is such a real character who is pained but absolutely does what she wants to do in life. She has a hard time finding love but her very open nature makes her identifiable. Bening is tremendous in the best role I've seen from her. She's an easygoing mother who is worried about her son and how he deals with life. Remarkably cool but nuanced. Also, Elle Fanning good lord I love her. Okay, I had to get that out of my system again. All of the characters have substantial depth and you do not leave the film feeling like a character's story was underdeveloped. The main core of characters are all in close proximity with each other and through their interactions you get to see their turmoils, struggles, and comfortable nature with each other.

The stories of the characters of the film are at times told by themselves and they seem to be telling the story from a future time, where they have experienced the entirety of their lives. I liked this technique of expansive storytelling. However, there are other things in the film that don't work as well. The slideshow of images of the culture of the 70's seemed gimmicky and didn't exactly add to the film's narrative. It seemed like an attempt to be able to grab viewers but wasn't exactly necessary. There are also times where the scenes have a "psychedelic effect" where the car races off in the highway in a dreamy haze, full with the colors of the rainbow emanating from the car. Again, I thought this was quite gimmicky and trying to harden the fact that this film was supposed to be set in the 70s.

I think one of the things that worked with the film was its humor. There is a lot of it, and while its not always subtle and funny a good amount of it works to make you chuckle or really laugh. Its not something I was expecting but is definitely something that made the film more memorable. There are some scenes that really, really work and help you really want to live in the frame of the characters. The film really focuses on women at the time and a teenage boy trying to navigate in a sea of women in his life. While its not always accurate about men, I think its doing a pleasant job of trying to connect the two while showing some of the plights experienced when men and women try to understand each other. What you get here is a well acted, humorous films that works to entertain.

7/10


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