Film Comment - 05/01/2011
"Without sacrificing his dry wit or the coolly intelligent gaze that lets no one -- his character included -- off the hook, he brings to the film an emotional generosity that he has rarely allowed his characters."
Los Angeles Times - 06/03/2011
"[A] buoyant and disarming drama about sons and fathers, death and dying, living and loving and all the ways we find ourselves starting over, hoping finally to get it right."
Wall Street Journal - 06/03/2011
"[T]he film's special mixture of sadness, comedy and hope sneaks up on you and stays in your memory."
Box Office - 06/01/2011 5 stars out of 5 -- "Sweet moments of subtle comedy and straightforward family drama mix perfectly with Mike Mills' trademark artfulness in BEGINNERS..."
New York Times - 06/02/2011
"[Mr. Mills] has seductive visual style....In wistful tone and mood, BEGINNERS at times hazily evokes the films of Wong Kar-wai..."
Movieline - 06/02/2011
"Plummer is gruffly wonderful here, hardly a surprise, a given that he's long been a great -- and sometimes unsung -- actor."
Chicago Sun-Times - 06/08/2011 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "One of the pleasures of BEGINNERS is the warmth and sincerity of the major characters."
Entertainment Weekly - 06/03/2011
"[Plummer] creates an inspiring, fully rounded man in late bloom, and McGregor responds with a performance to match." -- Grade: A-
Rolling Stone - 06/23/2011 3 stars out of 4 -- "Delicate business is being transacted in this touchingly personal and altogether extraordinary film....A never better Plummer is simply stupendous..."
Total Film - 07/07/2011 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his is a beautifully judged and genuinely affecting exploration of life's constant capacity to surprise."
Uncut - 08/01/2011 3 stars out of 5 -- "It's certainly a fresh angle on generation-gap issues, and Plummer relishes his role with an eye-twinkle towards the Oscars."
Sight and Sound - 08/01/2011
"Mills shows an unexpected compassion for his characters, shooting them simply, and giving Ewan McGregor and Melanie Laurent breathing space..."
Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is an illustrator with a history of failed relationships. Growing up, he spent much of his time with his eccentric mother, Georgia (Mary Page Keller), while his father, Hal (Christopher Plummer), supported the arts as the curator of a local museum. Though Oliver's parents never divorced, as a young boy he always sensed a distance between them -- a distance, Oliver discovers following his mother's death years later, that resulted from the fact that his father had lived most of his life as a closeted homosexual. With his wife gone and his son grown up, 75-year-old Hal decides to finally embrace his sexuality and takes a young boyfriend (Goran Visnjic). When Hal's health takes a turn for the worse, Oliver steps up to care for him while recalling quiet conversations and eventful trips to the museum with his unpredictable mother -- a dyed-in-the-wool eccentric. Gradually, Oliver begins to see his father in a whole new light. Later, Oliver falls for pretty French actress Anna (Mélanie Laurent) after a chance meeting at a costume party. The more intimate Oliver and Anna become, the more they both realize they share one defining character flaw -- the moment any relationship turns serious, they run away. For Oliver it means shutting himself in and obsessing over his work; for Anna it's as easy as checking into another empty hotel room in yet another strange city -- one of the perks, as it were, of having an itinerant job. After moving in together, the dysfunctional couple realizes that overcoming their hard-wired relationship issues is more difficult than either of them expected.