Movie Mention: Beginners

Beginners is a character study of Oliver (Ewan MacGregor), a sensitive artist trying to overcome his fear of commitment.  We meet Oliver just after the death of his father Hal (Christopher Plummer in his Oscar-winning role).  Growing up, Oliver wasn’t particularly close to Hal, and he keenly felt the disconnection between his restless, unhappy mother and cordial, distant father.  But after Oliver’s mother dies, Hal comes out as gay.  He tells his son, “I don’t want to be theoretically gay.  I want to do something about it.”

Oliver supports Hal’s decision, quietly bemused by his father’s imperfect love affair with the much-younger Andy.  Oliver has always held out for perfection in relationships, running away when they became too intimate. But watching his father living — and dying — authentically gives Oliver the impetus to try one more time with Anna, an actress with similar commitment issues.

(In addition to Ewan MacGregor and Christopher Plummer, this film also offers Cosmo the Jack Russell terrier as Arthur, and of course the dog steals every scene.)




2 thoughts on “Movie Mention: Beginners

  1. You can’t go wrong with a bit with a dog. What I was amazed by when I saw scenes from this at the Oscars is how in the HELL I missed a Ewan Mac Gregor movie?!!! Where has my mind been? And with its subject matter, shame on me even more that I did. It’s my understanding that Mr. Plummer earned his Oscar, and I want to see this immediately. For many reasons, but mostly because Ewan has a smile like a sunrise, and I can never see it without smiling back.

  2. I know. Even though I threw him over for James, this movie reminded me that I will always treasure what we once had.

    And I should have said in the post, Ewan’s performance is excellent.

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