Mike Mills presents Ewan McGregor, Melanie Laurent and Christopher Plummer in his new film.
Beginners speaks of the fumbling hesitancy and unbridled joy that life's relationships can bring. Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is suspended between two: he's dealing with the recent loss of his father, Hal (Christopher Plummer) but just as similarly entangled in something sweet and new with the delightful Anna (Melanie Laurent). Rather than meditating on the unalleviated pain of a loved one's passing, Oliver's memories of his father focus on Hal's seemingly incurable zest for life and love in his later years: after 45 years of marriage, he came out as gay at 75. Hal's renewed enthusiasm for life's promise inspires Oliver to become brave in his own new emotional endeavour with Anna.
Beginners is sweet, funny and completely captivating in the way that it effortlessly flits between Oliver's present and past in a way that never feels tired or overly deliberative. An autobiographical film about the poignancy of our emotional lives seems an only natural progression for director Mike Mills, who cut his teeth directing music videos for Air and Pulp. A filmmaker, graphic designer and artist, Mills has created short films for Marc Jacobs and designed album covers for the Beastie Boys and Sonic Youth. Check out next week for our exclusive interview with Mills.