Tag Archives: Mike Mills

Challenge Week 24: Beginners

Sorry, this is probably going to be a short one. I just don’t have a lot to say about this movie. It’s about Oliver (Ewan McGregor) whose elderly father Hal (Christopher Plummer) comes out as gay after his long-time wife dies. The movie actually mostly takes place after his father also dies, as McGregor tentatively starts a new relationship with actress Anna (Melanie Laurent). The story is told in multiple layers of flashback, as Oliver deals with the deaths of his parents and the extra surprise of his father’s sexuality.

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Christopher Plummer is tremendous as Hal, very enjoyable to watch (and his Oscar win is well-deserved), but Ewan McGregor often leaves me a little cold, and that’s the case here. I got that we’re sort of juxtaposing Hal’s late-life vitality and unbridled enthusiasm about his new life as a gay man with Oliver’s hesitation at embracing what he’s found in Laurent, and it’s not that the story isn’t well done, it just didn’t really grab me that much.

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