Movie Review: Beginners

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As far as indie films are concerned, Beginners is one of the most identifiable and truly accessible in a long time.  Ewan McGregor is insightful Oliver, a graphic artist looking back on a string of failed relationships.  Tired of this loneliness, he is only further strewn into sadness when his terminally ill father (Christopher Plummer) announces his homosexuality after the death of his wife.

Oliver watches his father come into his own once allowed to be openly gay in the community and supports his endeavors even through his battle with cancer.  There are artful, interestingly comedic comments about family, life, death, and love that are subtly intertwined in the chronicle of Hal’s cancerous death. The “indieness” of the film is never overdone.  McGregor is keen on keeping Beginners genuine.

Taking place in different modalities, Director Mike Mills really plays with the movie’s timing and tempo.  We meet Oliver as a child in the 1960’s as well, recounting his mother’s quirky habits and love.  Then, Mills jumps to 2003, where Hal is sick.  Finally ending in 2010, where Oliver  meets unpredictable Anna (Melanie Laurent, Inglorious Bastards) at a party, and with her help can emerge from a depressive state after his father’s death.

Oliver narrates a moving story that demonstrates the bravery necessary to enter into a new relationship and find love.  It is a film of substance—delving into a true understanding of life’s authenticity.

Beginners comes out June 3 at the Landmark La Jolla Theater. The Landmark La Jolla Theater is well-known for showing independent and foreign films for those interested in something other than the latest blockbuster. The scent of freshly popped popcorn and a friendly staff greet you at the door.  There is also a variety of snack offerings that include and extend beyond your typical popcorn/soda duo.  Lankmark offers 100% real butter on their popcorn, free flavor shakers (like White Cheddar and Jalapeno), Fair Trade coffees and teas, vegan cookies and more.

It is an intimate and cozy theater for indie film aficionados and those interested in exploring a new genre beyond the typical blockbuster film.  Beginners is a perfect place to start.

Check out the Beginners trailer below:

Filmmaker Mike Mills will make a special appearance in person Friday June 3 at the Landmark Los Angeles after the 7:10pm showing.

Director: Mike Mills

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Bill Oberst Jr., Jessica Elder, Mary Page Keller, Jodi Long, China Shavers, Kai Lennox, Jose Yenque, Jennifer Hasty, Deborah Rombaut, Brian Nolan

MPAA Rating: R

Run Time: 1hr 44mins

Release Year: 2010

Country Of Origin: USA

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