Beginners

Release date: 22 July 2011

Running time: 104 mins

Certificate: 15

Director:
Mike Mills

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic

Depressive graphic designer Oliver (Ewan McGregor) has just fallen for French actress Anna (Melanie Laurent) in LA, when his 75-year-old father, Hal (Christopher Plummer), drops two bombshells.

Firstly, he's just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Secondly, he's gay - a fact he shared only with Oliver's late mother. Following her death, Hal has decided to come out of the closet in spectacular fashion. He acquires a younger boyfriend, Andy (Goran Visnjic), and resolves to make the most of his new lifestyle in the time he has left.

Oliver, in turn, seeks to find the strength to confront deep-rooted commitment issues as his love for Anna deepens. Told in flashback after Hal's death, this is a deeply personal project for director Mike Mills, whose relationship with his own father closely paralleled the storyline.

Screenplay: Mike Mills   Distributor: Universal

You should see it because: An authentic, quirky, touching and sweetly funny portrait of complex family relationships, 'Beginners' boasts excellent performances from its two stars.

See it if you liked: Thumbsucker (2005), The Last Station (2009), A Single Man (2009)

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