The personal aspects of life become historical in Beginners, a sublime comic-romance woven together from writer/director Mike Mills’ own real-life experiences with his father, a museum curator who came out of the closet at the age of 75 only to die of cancer five years later. Mills’ fictional stand-in is Oliver (Ewan McGregor), a 38-year old successful graphic designer grappling with the recent loss of his dad Hal (Christopher Plummer) and a burgeoning romance with French actress Anna (Melanie Laurent). These experiences converge to create a surreal overlap of experiences, constructed by past memories, historical facts, and whimsical bits of fantasy. The autobiographical nature of the film allows Mills to examine the characters conflicts and joys, pain and happiness in interesting ways.
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