20th Century Women Reviews
An expertly written script and a phenomenal performance by Annette Benning help make 20th Century Women one of the most unique films of the year.
Annette Bening super-effectively captures this aging, confused mother who is out of touch with the world around her but tries her best to be okay with things, making for nuanced acting and creating the kind of person and mother you'd totally see out in the real world. There were a couple moments near the beginning of the movie where I did think her portrayal was a little off or forced, even for her oddball protagonist, but that's small potatoes because her character is so extremely likeable.
Elle Fanning gives absolutely her best role here. She totally becomes this free-spirited conflicted character who brings this really cool dual portrayal of light sweetness and dark brooding/apathy to the screen.
But the star here is Greta Gerwig, who totally nails this young woman struggling with her body and opting to take the optimistic, carefree approach while also caring for others and exuding a warm motherly vibe. She steals the show through the early and mid portions of the film before ceding the spotlight to the mother-son dynamic.
Billy Crudup also did an extraordinary job in his role, and his energy in this movie is radiant as he shows this determination to stay happy. Compared to the three women he's a tad one-note, but I think in any other film this character flourishes. Crudup definitely still gets his fair share of scene-stealing moments.
I saw Lucas Jade Zumann as being the weakest as far as both acting and characterization, but he's a young actor who is asked to take on a leading role, so obviously there are going to be stumbles. And in the end he, too, still delivers a character that is multifaceted - curious and sensitive while also impulsive and volatile at times. You absolutely see him trying to find his way in the world, and you see his struggles as a teenaged boy being raised by women. He fell a little flat in the beginning and in an early scene with Fanning, and like Crudup he's not as rich as the three leading women, but still he is a complex and intriguing character.
There are some good laughs in this film, and the character development takes centerstage while the plot just sort of sneaks up on you. Sometimes I think the premise got a little lost because the movie is so much more than that, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
The movie starts off with a bang and the first two acts are incredible. The third act is still great but you definitely get the feeling that it's saying, 'Oh, right, it's conflict resolution time," and so you get some familiar movie beats, but then the movie still puts a really good spin on it, and so it resumes its carefree style and gives an outro that is original.
This film waa extremely engaging and beautifully complex, and it's one of the movies I would definitely recommend you pick up a copy at Redbox or stream it online regardless of your cinematic interests.
20th Century Women gets a 9.1 and absolutely is Ownable.
the only critique ill say is that the climax of the movie could have been more. in other situations this would really have bothered me, but this film survived and thrived despite (so maybe im wrong anyway). the main thing about the climax scene where the mother and son finally have their discussion over weather things are working between the,, is that i didnt have a moment to take in that it was about to happen. i would have liked that. but than again, it was clear they were intentionally trying NOT to do that. but the other thing is, and this one i think def should have been addressed, is that when he says that i liked the way things were before, that he thought they were doing fine just the two of them... i wanted the mom to say "well you were turning out like a little shit, so i had to do something. i was confident in myself, but you were a dick, so yea maybe we loved each other, but i still had to find another way to parent you."
The story of a Santa Barbara mum bringing her son up with guests in her home & their trails & tribulations making sense of their world in 1979 & all the changes of society.
It's a good film but it fails to achieve greatness & there is just something missing. Has some great moments though...
Many people can notice that this is a coming of age movie, and from the first glance, it sounds typical. We usually assume that coming of age movies are movies about a teenage transition into adulthood, but don't let that blind you about this movie. 20th Century Women is a coming of age of all ages. Each character has its own distinct personality and its own problem relates to their ages. For example, Dorothea was bored during the depression, and she questions is the world that she is living in. All progressive thought, liberal ideas, and people have been replaced by modern materialism. Jamie, on the other hand, is in the conflict of finding himself in this world. People around him give him many ideas of how life works, and that contradicts himself. He wants to learn about the real world and learn about a woman he loves.
The director puts Jamie in the center of the film and shows all other characters through his perspective as can be seen when Jamie narrates each character life with a videos/pictures montage of the years each character related. Age is also a crucial aspect of the film because it's defined what and who the characters are. In each narration by Jamie, he always mentions when each character was bored. I found my falling in love with these characters. I wouldn't mind if I had to stay and hang out with them. They are such a powerful and independent men and women