Iffy for 16+
Touching gay-themed dramedy about love and loss.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this touching, mature indie dramedy -- based loosely on the experiences of writer/director Mike Mills -- revolves around a father coming out of the closet at the age of 75 and proceeding to live life as a gay man to the fullest despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer. The movie has some frank but not overt sexuality and sexual references; though sex is discussed, nudity is limited to one female breast. Language includes several uses of "f--k." Characters tend to drink fairly often, but not to drunkenness, and the father takes several prescription drugs for his illness (one sequence shows him high on Prednisone).
- Families can talk about how the movie portrays father-son relationships. How does it compare to other father-son stories you've seen in the media?
- The movie deals with sexual orientation without going into a lot of detail or showing a lot of nudity. Does that have any impact on the storytelling?
The good stuff
Messages: The main character overcomes many difficult challenges. He has closed his heart due to too much loss and hurt, but when he sees his father opening his heart in spite of many obstacles, he slowly learns to do the same.
Role models: Hal has learned to live his life to the fullest despite being diagnosed with cancer and having only a short time left. He feels no bitterness toward his previous life and keeps an open heart and an active mind, loving and helping others when he can and allowing others to help him. He doesn't try to pressure his son, but rather sets an example, and the son eventually follows.
What to watch for
Violence: Images of the shooting of Harvey Milk when characters watch The Times of Harvey Milk on television. In flashback, a mother and a young son play "shooting" games. Vandalism (graffiti).
Sex: Lots of kissing, both between men and women and between men. The main character and his girlfriend sleep together; they're seen lying in bed. Viewers see Anna's breast. Some discussion about gay sex. Oliver and Anna peruse a Joy of Sex book in a bookstore, and some pictures are shown. Some naked paintings are on view.
Language: A recording of Allen Ginsberg reading his infamous poem Howl contains a line about getting "f--ked in the ass." "F--k" is also used several more times (particularly in one scene when fireworks are set off); "Jesus" and "oh my God" are used as exclamations.
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Hal, diagnosed with cancer, takes several pills; in one scene, he's high on Prednisone. The main character drinks at a party but doesn't get drunk. Hal has a party in his hospital room, with alcohol served.
Fan Reviews provided by
Learning to Live 101 by BetaMike
Written from such a personal standpoint, "Beginners" has something for everyone. Christopher Plummer is, as to be expected, grand and noble in his role of the recently out dad but it is the emotion that Ewan MacGregor displays as the disaffected son learning to understand and, eventually, get over his father is certainly to garner him an Oscar nod.
If the film was only about the relationship between father and son, it would strike a singular hollow note. Expectations were on a level plane going into this film, but I was completely haunted by the performance of each actor and I dare you to not identify with someone in this film as you watch.
Good Movie by HairDaryl
This movie was good... the acting was very good... the content was really nice..... my only complaint is.... it was very slow. it could have had a few more funny scenes in it to keep you going..... All in all, I liked it.... but it seemed to keep going on and on.
most art house movie goers will enjoy it.... kids will not.
Wonderful by mitchman_la
This is a terrific movie that you may never have heard of if you didn't see that Christopher Plummer got a best supporting actor Oscar for his wonderful work.
Ewan MacGregor was entirely overlooked by the Academy in a terrific performance, and the story is fresh and interesting, beautifully acted and very cleverly told. The editing is amazing, and even though the movie jumps through time to tell the story, it's extremely clear why we're seeing what we're seeing. A great script, a great story... I really loved this movie and I recommend it very highly!
Wonderful premise, although cute and lightweight at times by review_central
Ewan McGregor could win your heart just opening a can of dog food, and this tender film allows him to develop a complex, bewildered, and thoroughly attractive character that no one else in Hollywood could pull off. Christopher Plummer, of course, is superb. The dog was great. And how I wish this film could have concentrated on those three characters and escaped the cloying distraction of the "girlfriend", a ridiculously improbable connection that threatened to sink the power and dark humor of this movie. The film wins in the end, but barely. Fantastic set design, by the way, for once showing how people really live in a nothing's perfect world.
great movie by moviefan.com
this movie was worth the price of admission.a nice little comedy drama about a man,his gay dad acute french girl and a loving dog.intelligent movie well acted and i enjoy the way it was filmed.if you looking for a slice of life kind of movie and not a explosion action flick this is it.i hope it does better at theaters
Lovely by Nickeygrl
At time in the movie season when bigger is better, loader is more grand it was nice to watch a simply lovely, sweet film about love, lost and the work of finding or avoiding either states of being.
Everyone was a delight, but I have to give an extra shout out to Christopher Plummer, he was such a joy to watch. No fuss, just effortlessly wonderful. Ewan McGregor character was so open, honest and real. His level of depression felt more honest and real then it's usually depicted. As I watched him I thought to myself "yeah, I've been there, I've felt that way". Ms. Melanie Laurent--simply captivating! Goran Visnjie was at times strange but along side Mr. Plummer less so--I saw the their relationship as real and kind and lovely. Without Mr. Plummer he was -- strange.
I enjoyed this film very very much!
its a romantic movie by pendean
The movie is predominantly about a son and his new girlfriend, with flashbacks he has about his relationships with his parents and between the parents. Very tastefully done and quite touching, with a cliff hanger ending.