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Film Club: Beginners Discussion

What I liked

Mike Mills background in graphic design shines through, while never over the top everything in Beginners is designed with a purpose and it plays with what is true in our memories and what isn’t. A great example of this is the scene where Plummer’s character tells his son he’s gay and he can’t remember what his dad wore them so they do the scene fast a couple time with different outfits. It’s the little things that work.

The sideshow monologues are a bit overdone in recent years in movies but they fit in perfectly here explaining the background of the family and how it came to this.

I really enjoy the lo-fi jazz that plays through allot of the scenes, it is close to being a bit too quirky but it works fine through the shortness of it all.

What I loved

The cast. Beside Plummer turning in one of the best performances in his whole carreer the cast overall is a absolute delight and turns in some amazing work. McGregor plays against type as a withdrawn man fighting against himself and in the end learning how to love himself and his family.

Mélanie Laurent even carries tons of bad movies and when she is in a good one she easily becomes the midpoint of every scene she’s in. Same goes here. But the real star is Arthur the dog, I can’t think of a more charming dog in recent cinema.

For the rest the none linear way of storytelling was a perfect stylistic choice, it is a perfect way to showcase the life of the people over a 5 years time period.

What could have been better

I think the movie focuses a little to much on McGregor’s character, not that he is uninteresting but there is a way more compelling story with his father. Which also leads to the point of Goran Višnjić, he’s wacky boyfriend character is loveable and cute but is given quite little screen time which leaves him a bit of a nobody.

Their whole relationship while protrayed lovingly is a bit to much on the background. It’s what drives the movie plot but the main focus remains on McGregor and Laurent which is compelling on itself but it could’ve been a bit more interesting focus with more focus on Plummer. It are small nitpicks.

So I hope some people have seen it(this week or before that) and be happy to discuss it below with me and others!


Next film club discussion will be about D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance hosted by Mr. Greene, 11 March at 3PM ET