Beginners

Beginners

Beginners' imaginatively explores the hilarity, confusion, and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver. Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna only months after his father Hal has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who -- following 44 years of marriage -- came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal's new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they'd ever been able to be. Now Oliver endeavors to love Anna with all the bravery, humor, and hope that his father taught him. 3.4 out of 5 based on 16 reviews
Beginners

Omniscore:

Certificate 15
Genre Drama
Director Mike Mills
Cast Melanie Laurent, Christopher Plummer, Goran Visnijic Ewan Mcgregor
Studio Universal
Release Date July 2011
Running Time 104m
 

Beginners' imaginatively explores the hilarity, confusion, and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver. Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna only months after his father Hal has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who -- following 44 years of marriage -- came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal's new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they'd ever been able to be. Now Oliver endeavors to love Anna with all the bravery, humor, and hope that his father taught him.

Reviews

The Daily Express

Allan Hunter

The screenplay has echoes of Woody Allen’s wit, the tone is wistful and there is a visual exuberance … True romantics will fall under its spell.

22/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Observer

Philip French

Beginners is immensely moving, funny and involving, the acting beyond reproach, with Christopher Plummer bringing a rare wit, compassion and unsanctimonious grace to the role of Hal. In its quiet, unostentatious way, it's one of the most sensitive films I've seen about the experience of living through and responding to the profound social changes of the past 60 years.

24/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Scotsman

Siobhan Synnot

On the face of it, writer-director Mike Mills' romantic comedy-drama has its work cut out persuading you that it won't be so cute and loveable that it practically comes down from the screen and demands a hug. For one thing, it has a sweet-faced Jack Russell who talks in subtitles. But underneath it all this is a funny, clever, compassionate movie about deferred love that knows exactly what it is at every moment.

19/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Independent

Geoffrey MacNab

Mills's comedy-drama touches on some very dark themes (cancer, death, family rupture, sexual repression) in a delicate and very playful way … McGregor, in one of his most assured performances, helps anchor a film that could have seemed very fey and far-fetched indeed. He underplays beautifully.

22/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Daily Telegraph

David Gritten

...smart, original and likeable.

21/07/2011

Read Full Review


Time Out

Trevor Johnston

… a film that’s unusual and utterly itself won me over. It stays with you and, whatever its flaws, there’s something rare and cherishable in that.

21/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Times

Kate Muir

At its warm heart, Beginners is a lightly-told story about the serious issues of death, parental illness, compromise and freedom. In less deft hands it might have descended into schmaltz. Mills counteracts that with his signature sidelong glance at the material ... In all, unexpected and charming.

22/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Sunday Times

Cosmo Landesman

Wonderful … The human performances are first-rate. Plummer is quite brilliant because his gayness is whispered and never explicit, as you would expect from a man who has hidden it most of his life. He manages to exude joy without being one of those energised old geezers Hollywood loves. Perhaps the biggest surprise is how good McGregor is. The sadness of Oliver suits him. He seems more relaxed and more real in this role.

24/07/2011

Read Full Review


Total Film

Neil Smith

Mike Mills’ latest offers a wealth of wit and wisdom. Give the dog a bone – and Plummer an Oscar nod.

12/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

If you think this sounds horrendously sentimental and one to miss, think again … It's one of those movies I can't be sure you'll be tempted by, but I'm certain that if you are, you'll like it very much.

22/07/2011

Read Full Review


Sight & Sound

Kate Stables

Like mid-period Woody Allen it uses a bittersweet and formally innovative comic autobiography to fashion something that also recognises a generational hang-up ... Would that he had also adopted Allen’s post-shooting mode, a fierce paring away of any inclusions, however delightful, that unbalanced the whole. One can only regret this writer-director’s decision to cram so much material into the mix that some fine understated performances, and much of the film’s emotional impact, are obscured along the way.

01/07/2011

Read Full Review


Empire Magazine

Anna Smith

With good performances and characters, Beginners is an enjoyable, amusing and occasionally poignant watch. Indie film fans will want to catch it, but it falls short of being a must-see.

01/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Despite the overwhelming cuteness of its canine character, and the intelligent and likable performance from Plummer, Beginners is not a movie that strains to make friends with its audience from the opening frames in the Hollywood manner. It is tonally elusive, cerebral and subdued, but this is a film with a healthy, if self-conscious IQ. It could be an excellent date movie.

21/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

...decently acted but so uneventful and underpowered that it will stretch the patience of mainstream audiences.

22/07/2011

Read Full Review


The New Yorker

Richard Brody

[An] excruciatingly faux-naïve and sentimental drama of mommy-and-daddy worship … Instead of showing what he knows about family and love, Mills, striving for aesthetic ricochets, misfires widely. Even several intelligently compiled and poignant historical montage sequences have their substance spoiled by the strain for kooky charm.

01/07/2011

Read Full Review


The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Colleagues who voiced praise of Beginners had to be taken aside by me, after the screening, and told gently, as I rubbed their foreheads with an eau-de-cologne-impregnated towel: “This is not a good film. It just seems good, amid all the louder rubbish around, because it is quiet, whimsical and full of politically correct thinking.”

21/07/2011

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore