Article Title:DVD review: Beginners
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:2nd April 2012 - 10:32 am
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Story ID:11578
Text:Christopher Plummer as Hal This moving, thoughtful and gentle film centred on a relationship between a father who comes out at 75 and his bewilderdly proud son, may be a little slow for some, but for others it will quickly become a favourite. The flick is based on the true life story of writer and director Mike Mills, whose own father came out in later life. It hopscotches back and forth and sideways through time, with a series of scene-setting photos, flashbacks and jangling old-timey piano music. We first meet the mopey and serious Oliver, played by Ewan McGregor, who is in the depths of mourning after his vibrant father Hal (Christopher Plummer). As he goes through the cold realities of bagging up his father’s belongings and throwing away unneeded pills, he finds something of a one-sided confidante in his dead dad’s clingy Jack Russell, who helps him with his sense of bewilderment at his father coming truly alive, then leaving the world, in a matter of years. At a party Oliver meets a beautiful girl with laryngitis, Anna (Mélanie Laurent) and further one-sided conversations follow, and we follow Oliver back through his father’s life as he tries to summon the bravery to love also. Anna has father issues of her own, and the film traces the complex impacts our parents can have on our own relationships as the pair meanders through the realities of love. As Hal, Christopher Plummer is Oscar-deservingly masterful. After his wife dies he comes out, ties a rainbow scarf around his neck and finds a younger boyfriend, living his final years in the beautiful tumult of the gay world with freedom and without regret. He and his memories are a breath of fresh air in his son’s stifling world. Something of a tribute of the utter bravery it can take to love, Beginners is not a film to watch if you’re looking for quick laughs or a simple pay-off. It’s mellow, thoughtful and best viewed on a quiet rainy night in, with an open mind and a bottle of red at hand. Beginners is a film to be savoured Jacqui Stanford - 2nd April 2012    
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