It was easy for me to be captured by this movie, I was able to relate to most of the situations. I lost my father to lung cancer and just like the character Oliver I spent all those final days ailing his demise, even the house reminds me of my father's house. I can also relate to the pros and cons af loneliness and the impression that emotional relationships leave in your psyche. I love the idea about the film of starting something for the first time no matter how old you are or the idea of starting over anew. Both Hal (Christoper Plummer) and Oliver (Ewan McGreggor) are beginners in their own lives and this idea of starting over is beautifully displayed in director Mike Mills' film.
I loved the feeling of the film, created through the excellent photography, the light is always soft and dim. This film is in this beautiful gloomy mood. Which I wish it will always be like that at all times.
The non-linear plot goes back and forth in time from Oliver's point of view - it shows him in phases of his young life with his mother, his adult life with his father, and his own journey in a brand new relationship. There is all kinds of love and relationships intertwining through “Beginners,” connecting mothers and fathers, parents and children, sons and lovers, men and their dogs. The love feels heartfelt but it’s difficult loving other people a hardship that’s evident in the emotional ups and downs.
After his wife' death, Hal announces he is gay after 44 years of marriage, shocking his son. He also announces he is going to start dating again and starts a love affair with a much younger man (Goran Visnjic, I couln’t recognize him). In a tragic twist of events, he also learns he has been diagnosed with lung cancer, just as he is getting to experience his life for the first time out of the closet.
While grieving the loss of his father, Oliver has a similar experience of new beginnings when he meets Anna played by Melanie Laurant and starts a relationship with her, all kinds of old relationship memories inundate Oliver. Historically, eager to run from his former relationships, he constantly has his father in the back of his mind questioning why nothing has ever lasted with him. In his journey for understanding within his own life, his relationship with Anna, as well as his acceptance and understanding of his father, deepen. The character of the dog is quite interesting as part consciousness, part bonding vehicle, his affections are clear and simple.
It is a beautiful film full of hope and creates a strong impression on a viewer who might be reluctant to embrace who they are and let others into their personal circle.
Both Plummer and McGreggor give an impeccable acting job. I strongly recommend it.