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Beginners universal and inclusive 

Melancholy "memoir" one of the year's best films

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Beginners is Mike Mills’s semi-autobiographical tale, following the life of a 30-something designer named Oliver (Ewan McGregor) who begins dating someone new (Mélanie Laurent) following his father (Christopher Plummer) coming out as a gay man. We regularly flash back to Oliver’s childhood and memories of his mother, and so get three separate timelines punctuated by brief historic montages. The tone is both melancholic and playful, examining the conflicting roots of adult identity while landing firmly on the side of optimism and the potential for renewal. Beginners has a quirky charm with a universal and inclusive message, making it one of the year’s best films. The indefatigable Plummer and vibrant Laurent are especially good.


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