Beginners Movie Review

I know that this film originally released in early June. But it just finally opened in a theater near me. So last night I took the time to go out and see it.

One thing that I really liked about Beginners, was its atypical narrative. The film goes back and forth between a few different stories.

The main story, I suppose, is after Oliver’s mother dies, his father Hal comes out and told him that he is gay and that he was gay the whole time that they were married.  Later Hal gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. So we see Oliver look after his father in his time of need.

The other story takes place a few months later when Hal has passed. Then he meets a woman at a party (Melanie Laurent) who he soon forms a relationship with. We also get the sweet relationship between Oliver and his father’s dog Arthur who speaks to Oliver through subtitles.

The performances are all strong in this movie. Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, and Melanie Laurent, all do good work. I guess if I had to pick which one I liked the most it would be Laurent. Not to say McGregor and Plummer weren’t good though. Plummer has even been some getting Oscar buzz for his performance. I could definitely see him being nominated when January rolls around.

I think that the biggest strength of the movie is the character development. The film is truly a character study. During the 1 hour, 45 minute runtime, we really learn a lot about the characters’ backstories. And we get a good sense of their personalities.

I could see how people could watch this movie and call it boring. I know there already are people who have. It’s very slow and very quiet.  I know I wasn’t bored though. I think if you give it chance and go into it knowing what it is with an open mind, you might enjoy it.

For me, Beginners gets a solid 8/10.

By: John D’Amico

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2 Comments on “Beginners Movie Review”

  1. Logan Burd Says:

    Great review! Loved everything about the movie…well mostly. Check out my review and comment or subscribe!
    http://allihavetosayaboutthat.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/beginners-2010/

  2. wordschat Says:

    I and my group of friends saw it at different sittings. Can’t always co-ordinate schedules. We discussed it pretty heavy via email so I didn’t blog th review. Initially I was relunctant to see it. From the previews I thought “oh there goes another stereotype coming out story and not a realistic one at that”. Ironically after seeing it I found the Ewan McGregor relationship troubles the lesser convincing and even hokee. Canadian Christopher Plummer was very good. The reality of many gay men of his generation (and even friends of mine 40+) coming out now or after their “family” oblgations are done was well depicted. I would have liked to have seen more of his friends and learn their stories; but that’s another movie.


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