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:: Beginners

Beginners certainly isn’t a film for the popcorn set as this film maybe a personal journey for director Mike Mills but it is also one of the strangest yet best films to surface this year. If you like your films to be a little bit out there then this a film you certainly shouldn’t miss.

Oliver (Ewan McGregor) lives his life like a hermit. While he goes to work the only person who seems to be really close to is his father, Hal (Christopher Plummer) who at the age of 75 announces to the world that he is gay and begins to date Andy (Goran Visnjic). However, when his father dies Oliver’s life really changes. Not only does he have a constant companion in his father’s dog, he relives moments of his father’s live in his subconscious and meets the very beautiful, Anna (Melanie Laurent). Now Oliver must get himself together if he hopes he can make something work with Anna.

This would have been a difficult film for Mike Mills to make but he certainly does a good effort with it. Despite the fact that there are some strange scenes and happenings, such as the dog communicating with Oliver, it never manages to lose its audience. In fact the script is so good that you can’t help but warming to Oliver and Hal who just happen to be some of the most interesting characters to ever grace the silver screen. Stories this good are rare to find these days so Mills should be extremely proud of the script and film that he has managed to create.

The real standouts in this film have to be Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor. Plummer puts in one of the best performances of his long-lasting career while McGregor tackles a difficult role with vigour and pulls it off in such a way that he deserves to win awards for it. They are also well supported by Melanie Laurent who hopefully will use this film to show Hollywood that she deserves plenty of roles; it is rare to find an actress so beautiful who also has the acting range she has. Together this is one of the finest cast performances that you are ever likely to see in a film.

Beginners is a stunning film that deserves to be one of the films of the year. This character-driven drama (that will have you chuckling from time-to-time) totally engrosses its audience and has a script that most filmmakers would have loved to have gotten their hands onto.