20th Century Women - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

20th Century Women Reviews

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June 26, 2017
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.
½ June 26, 2017
Excelentes interpretaciones y una direcciòn fresca.
Super Reviewer
½ June 19, 2017
It begins dull and uninteresting but later becomes an adorable and complex film drenched in nostalgia, with a great soundtrack, an Oscar-deserving award by Annette Bening and an impressive cinematography that makes it look like it was really made in the late 1970s.
June 18, 2017
In 20th Century Women characters become victims of fate, they're resolve about a far future colliding with the end of the century and it's goodbyes; but they don't care about it anymore, day after day they struggle with the intern battle with themselves: With persuiting meaning in life, the teenage angst, to struggle with desires for an unprepared society. All of this becomes a turnmoil of emotions and an exhilaratiing breath of hope...
June 18, 2017
Belum bisa dibilang pantas masuk nominasi best original screenplay kalau ga unik dan absurb ceritanya. Ni film kurang lebih udah punya banget syarat itu. Ga cuma super unik dan jujur sedikit membosankan tapi emang ni film dalem banget. Pokonya tipe film yang ngajak kita refleksi tentang pola pikir dari era 70an dan juga nostalgia buat yang idup di jaman itu. Annete Benning jujur ga sering denger nama dia, tapi jadi penasaran ni film next nya pasti mantap juga.
½ June 16, 2017
Superb script, awesome performances, great movie.
June 16, 2017
This comedy drama is a slow paced film which has a 1979 retro feel that I enjoyed. I also liked the use of old photos and news footage, and the first-person narration. The first half of the film was enjoyable, but I felt that the second half dragged with poor editing, lack of direction, and overuse of the same themes and similar scenes. There just wasn't quite enough material to sustain the movie's length. D & the MC
½ June 15, 2017
20th Century Women is really fascinating and extremely layered in its approach to how a single mother chooses to raise her son. This movie is about five characters, three of whom are unbelievably rich in development and in depth with the other two still being very strong and compelling.
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.
June 15, 2017
I am giving it a two for the scenery which w as wonderful. benning was way too old to play that part. I loved the lines the blonde teen had............but seriously does anyone really believe that one small packet of bleach would make his black hair yellow blonde???? waste of time
½ June 14, 2017
20th Century Women is quite simply a very special film. It it teeming with humanity and honesty, filled with beautiful observation and endearing humour. Mike Mils has created a film that is warm and glowing, he is clearly in love with characters. Set in 1979 Santa Barbara it is clearly a strong portrayal of a group of women with different challenges and struggles and how they deal with them. The cast is uniformly excellent with Annette Bening especially strong as the central character Dorothea, a divorced mother trying to figure out the best way to raise her teenage son. Surrounded by other strong women this film is a very honest portrait of the female place in the world. Beautiful dialogue is matched by a great soundtrack that totally captures the times of the film. I wish more were like this, concentrating solely on the human drama of life. With great writing and acting this film pushes all the right buttons.
½ June 14, 2017
A fantastic look at adolescence from the eyes of a 15 year old boy growing up in the late 1970's in Santa Barbara, unashamedly honest and raw with stellar performances from the whole cast. Lucas Jade Zumann portrayal of the 15 year old is brilliant, capturing the mood and feeling we all felt growing up making us relate and feel nostalgic as we follow his journey, Of course Annette Bening shines as the leading role, showing us the real struggles of parenthood as she attempts to raise her son alone and copes with letting go and him becoming a man. Greta Gerwig also deserves a mention as she plays a troubled artist struggling to find her identity. Elle Fanning also excels in the role of Jamie's best friend and love interest. Mike Mills has put together a wonderful film and story arc where we care about the 5 principal characters deeply and can't wait to see how their lives turn out. A truly honest and often nostalgic look at growing up and dealing with family life
June 12, 2017
until movies like this are being made, we still have hope
½ June 5, 2017
so good. so fascinating. i found annette bennings charcter to be so interesting. a divirced woman in the 1970s who living in hippie santa barbara california but was a depression baby raised through world war 2 and through the uptight 50s is struggling to be cool and be conservative at the same time. the way this movie walks that line and the way annete benning walked that line was fascinating. the whole cast was great. i was totally hooked on the movie.

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."
½ June 3, 2017
My wife commented half-way through, "This movie should just be called 'The Bechdel Test.'" And it IS a fascinating look at conversations about identity and gender at a particular moment in time in US history. That said, it felt like Mills was counting on setting, performances, and thematic richness to bail out a story lacking in plot. Did they? Yeah...a little. But a little more story and a little less white liberal nostalgia would have been nice.
June 3, 2017
Has a terrific premise & is well acted but there is something uneven about this film it often meanders off.

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...
½ May 31, 2017
Personally, I like to follow any movie that has been nominated for the original screenplay, and I usually like most of them. 20th Century Women is one of that films. The story set in Southern California in 1979, and about a single mother, Dorothea who were raised during the depression, raise her son, Jamie, in the midst of emerging of new ideas, conflicts, drugs, rebellious, and materialism. She loses touch with her son and does not sure how to be a better parent. She asks two strong women who are very close with her son to guide him and help him becomes a strong man. Each main character is showed through the eyes of Jamie.

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
May 29, 2017
I liked this look at relationships between men/women, mother/son, women/society. All in a time capsule of '79. I liked the musical selections and the cast/acting was great. Not sure exactly what the overall message was, but I enjoyed this film. Definitely gives you something to think about ...like how to effectively raise a young man to be a good man without a male role model.
½ May 19, 2017
Meh! Admire and wanted to like it more than I actually did. Not bad. Not great. Great soundtrack though
½ May 17, 2017
A beautiful, quiet, peaceful, malancholic movie about family, love and compreension in different times of our lifes. "20th Century Women" deserves to be watched by everyone, it will give you one hell of an experience like no other of 2016!
May 14, 2017
Annette Beniing is brilliant in the leading role but the rest of the cast kind of annoyed me. I liked the idea behind the movie but it didn't really affect me like the way it was supposed to.
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