Monday, January 2, 2012

12-31-11: It's Never too Late

BEGINNERS (2011) (R) 105 mins. **** D: Mike Mills. Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic.

While grieving for his late father, who only recently announced he was gay, a struggling graphic artist finds himself in a relationship with a woman he only just met. As they grow closer he can't escape the feeling that this relationship will go down in flames like the many that came before.

This is an amusing, tender romantic-drama featuring some solid performances and a sharp, witty script. When we first meet Oliver he is cleaning out his father's home. We are told that he had recently come out and on top of that died of cancer. We learn that Oliver hasn't been able to maintain a serious relationship. While at a party he meets an actress and they begin a sweet relationship that leads Oliver to examine his life and his father's. Can he make this one work or is he doomed to repeat his past?

Plummer and McGregor are great as father and son. Laurent is very appealing as Anna. There's an amusing bit where Oliver and Arthur hold conversations throughout that is at first odd but you ultimately buy into it. All the characters are great and you really want to see some sort of happy ending for them. Is there a happy ending? Well let's just say this is only the beginning.

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