It is the year 2011. This is what the sky looks like. This is what the people are wearing. This is our president. This is the review for ‘Beginners‘.
‘Beginners‘ paints a very vivid picture of the kind of times we live in and used to live in. While the paragraph above is not directly from the movie, it borrows heavily from the opening passage describing the world the characters live in. ‘Beginners‘ features Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, and Melanie Laurent in a story that shows what happens when people aren’t true to themselves.
Oliver (McGregor) has just lost his father to cancer, after his mother had passed away a few years earlier. Growing up, Oliver always thought there was something wrong with his parents’ marriage. He just never knew that his father was gay. His father, Hal (Plummer), is finally allowed to live his life the way he always wanted after the death of his wife, even if it shatters his son’s conception of a healthy marriage.
As a result of his emotional scarring, Oliver goes through uncaring relationships throughout his life, never understanding what it really feels like to love. That is until he meets a young actress, Anna (Laurent), who has captured his heart. Anna has her own issues with a father who puts all his problems on her shoulders. Together they hope to find that elusive thing called love.
The story takes place in the current era with Oliver and Anna after Hal’s death, but features countless flashbacks to the time Hal was still alive. Hal seems like a young man, finally able to follow his path. He is a part of countless organizations spreading the good word of homosexuals everywhere. He has a young, loving boyfriend and finally seems at peace with himself. Unfortunately, we learn at the beginning of the film that happiness will be fleeting.
Christopher Plummer is the highlight of the film. Most famously known for his role in ‘Sound of Music‘, he gives a completely memorable performance here of a man who has been released after suppressing his feelings for countless years. He should get a supporting actor nomination for his role in this picture.
Beginners features three people who are starting their lives over after years of disappointment. It includes some interesting ideas of time passage and color grading that add to the otherwise commonplace story. Beginners is a fine film worthy of a rental. Fine performances by the cast, Christopher Plummer will hopefully achieve the acclaim he deserves with Beginners.
3 Hearts / 5