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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
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Popularity
3,249 ( 976)
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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elle Fanning's second film with three multigenerational women at the center. The first was 3 Generations (2015). See more »

Goofs

Dorothea is variously depicted discussing her stock portfolio with her son Jamie, quoting NYSE share prices in decimals, doing this in 1979. However, the switch to decimal from fractional stock prices in the U.S. did not occur until the year 2000. 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film '72: Episode #46.4 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Gut Feeling (Slap Your Mammy)
Performed by Devo
Written by Mark Mothersbaugh, Robert Mothersbaugh, Gerald V. Casale
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Being 15 in 1979
15 March 2017 | by rubenmSee all my reviews

Just like the central character in this film, I was born in 1964. Just like him, I was 15 in 1979. My mother was only two years older than his mother. So, you'd think I could relate to this film. But I couldn't, really.

Maybe that is because I didn't grow up in a bohemian single parent household in Santa Barbara. Life for 15 year old Jamie was different than it was from me. I had two parents, but I didn't have a skateboard.

Yes, I can remember Jimmy Carter being president. But I didn't see his impressive and remarkably modern 'Crisis of Confidence'-speech, which is an important feature in one of the scenes of this film. There's only one thing which caused somewhat nostalgic emotions: making mix tapes. Yes, I did that too.

'20th Century Women', which is essentially about a mother raising a son, has nice scenes. I really liked the explanation about punk rock music to the 55 year old mother: she complains about the lack of beauty, but exactly that is the strength of it. There are many such scenes, with small but meaningful events, telling a lot about how life was in the seventies.

But the story itself didn't captivate me. Jamie's mother thinks she can't raise Jamie on her own, so she involves his best friend (a girl) and a photographer who rents a room in the house (also a girl). They teach him lots of things about sex, music, seducing women, and life in general. All characters are in a way in search of there own destiny. So, a lot of soul searching is going on. Anyway, the film contains one of the best one-liners I've heard in years: 'Wondering if you're happy is a great shortcut to just being depressed'.


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