7.3/10
31,346
91 user 215 critic

20th Century Women (2016)

Trailer
2:21 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ALL
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
3,776 ( 11)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 70 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Shares a lot of similarities to Almost Famous (2000): Both are semi-autobiographical stories about a 15-year-old boy discovering music, falling in love with a more sexually experienced blonde, and living with a single mother in southern California during the 1970s. Billy Crudup features in both films, and has exactly the same hair style in both. 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

Jamie: Why are you fine being sad and alone?
Dorothea: I, uh... I... you... you can't talk to me like that.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 74th Golden Globe Awards (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

DJ (1999 Remastered Version)
Written by David Bowie, Brian Eno, Carlos Alomar
Performed by David Bowie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
communal confusion
12 January 2017 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Writer/director Mike Mills has found a niche, and a form of therapy, by exploring and exposing his life in a most public manner … on the silver screen. Beginners (2010) brought us the story of his father's (an Oscar winner for Christopher Plummer) late life pronouncement of homosexuality. This time, Mr. Mills turns his lens and his pen towards his mother, and he seems to understand her much better in retrospect than in the summer of 1979 when the film is set.

This can be viewed as the story of three women, masked as a coming-of-age story for a teenage boy. Annette Bening stars as Dorothea, a chain-smoking single mother in her mid-50's who seems to have surrendered to her own sadness and loneliness, while simultaneously trying to make sense of a changing world. One of her tenants is Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a photographer and NYC punk scene drop-out, who is now battling cervical cancer. The third female is the seemingly always present Julie (Elle Fanning), a sexually promiscuous and borderline depressive 18 year old who values the platonic friendship she has with Dorothea's 15 year old son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zuman).

Factor in another tenant in the form of laid-back handyman and former hippie William (Billy Crudup), and we have a makeshift family in a communal setting that seems almost normal for 1979 Santa Barbara. Dorothea enlists the other two women to show Jamie their lives – the intent being to influence his growth in ways an older mother can't. Of course, Jamie is at the age where exploring life isn't necessarily best served by tagging along on a trip to the gynecologist with Abbie or having no-touch sleepovers with Julie.

Ms. Bening finds her groove as the story progresses and we feel her struggling to connect to each of the characters. When William plays a Black Flag song, her reaction is priceless: "They know they're not good, right?" She doesn't mean it as a put down, but rather her attempt to understand why her son is drawn to this. An even more emotionally naked moment occurs when Jamie is reading a passage from "The Feminine Mystique" to his mother. It's a passage that captures what he thinks of her, as well as what she thinks of herself … a mostly invisible woman finding it difficult to be a parent while also maintaining a self.

Mills is not one to be nostalgic or glorify the past. His brilliant writing includes lines like "Wondering if you are happy is a great short cut to being depressed." The movie can be slow moving at times, but it's the best I've seen in awhile at expressing what makes us tick. The film is what Running with Scissors should have been. Real people are sometimes interesting, sometimes boring, and sometimes annoying. Each of the characters here are all of the above (just like you and me).


14 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 91 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed