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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'Beginners': An Intimate and Disarming Journey Through Love, Loss and Restoration


Movie poster for Beginners

Beginners" (2010) is a heartfelt comedy-drama starring Ewan McGregor as Oliver, a charmingly neurotic graphic designer navigating the landscape of modern-day Los Angeles. Still grappling with the recent loss of his father Hal (Christopher Plummer), Oliver embarks on a journey of actualization while developing a budding relationship with a French actress named Anna (Mélanie Laurent).


The film intricately weaves two distinct timelines: Oliver's contemporary romance with the enigmatic Anna, and a period several years earlier following Hal's revelation to his son that he is gay. Hal's disclosure, occurring late in life, takes Oliver by surprise—yet he finds joy in seeing his father experience a new sense of elation and liberation. It's a wry tapestry of emotions, with quirky graphics representing glimpses into Oliver's inner world, transforming the movie into a scrapbook of poignancy and discovery.

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Written and directed by Mike Mills (20th Century Women, C'mon C'mon), Beginners is a bittersweet mosaic of life's more tender and unpredictable moments. Mills infuses the film with offbeat whimsy, seamlessly blending humor and melancholy into the proceedings. The scene-stealing Jack Russell Terrier, Arthur, adds an extra layer of charm, while McGregor and Plummer share a remarkable on-screen chemistry that holds everything together. Ultimately, it's a profound journey through the complexities of life—not to mention a testament to the surprising nature of existence.

 

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