Thursday, May 19, 2011


Still from The Beginners
Having received a fair bit of positive buzz at TIFF 2010, Beginners finally nears a domestic release. The Film centers around Oliver (Ewan McGregor) whose elderly Father Hal (Christopher Plummer) decides to "out" himself as a Gay Man at 75 years of age. We then learn also that Hal has a younger Lover named Andy (Goran Visnjic), but unfortunately he also is diagnosed with a terminal Cancer. We see Oliver’s struggle top cope with his Father’s mortality as this sadness trickles into many areas of his life including love and work.

In his 40s, Oliver is a lonely Artist who finds himself reflecting upon his Childhood and his relationship with his Mother Georgia (Mary Page Keller).  In present day, he meets a French Actress named Anna (Mélanie Laurent) and before he realizes it, Oliver falls passionately in love with her, breath life into each other's drained souls. The impermanence of her stay and the many complexities of timing in their lives however, are inescapable, ever-present like a dark cloud.  We wonder whether or not they really are meant for one another or if they will become victims of circumstance. 

Director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker) does a fine job taking an offbeat and unconventional storyline in Beginners, transforming it into something meaningful and heartfelt. He takes his visual expertise, creating an experience that is both cerebral and lasting with sketches, colour and text, enhancing the emotions of his scenes.

McGregor as expected, is excellent in his charmingly boyish demeanour and Plummer effectively handles to see-sawing of vitality and frailty required of his character with grace. Laurent is absolute scene-stealer who so effectively conveys much without saying a lot of anything at all. And how can one forget the adorable long-haired Jack Russell - Cosmo - who compliments McGregor’s Oliver so beautifully acting as his voice of reason at times. Heartwarming.

Beginners opens in Canada via Alliance Films in select Cities on June 17, 2011. Click here learn more about it.  Grade: A-

No comments:

Post a Comment