Beginners - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Beginners Reviews

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July 27, 2017
Excellent acting all around dedicated to the story and their character. Clean clear directing supporting actors and story. i was totally engaged and touched by various aspects of this sweet film.
½ June 7, 2017
The style of storytelling in Beginners is very unique, but it feels like what might be going on inside the main character's head. It made the entire film feel personal as we explored how he handled grief. I liked that the movie wasn't built on long exposition scenes where the characters elaborate on how they feel and why. Instead we experience their emotions through behavior and dialogue. There's also a small use of subtitles that I won't spoil, but it made me laugh, so I guess it worked for me.

Ewan McGregor is totally engaging as the lead in Beginners. I cared about him and wanted to see him figure out his life. There was also some great chemistry between him and Melanie Laurent. She is such an enigma in the movie that I was mentally on pins and needles always afraid she would go away. It created a tension in those moments between the fun rom-com scenes, which I quite enjoyed. Their conversations were sweet while also being deep and heartfelt.

I have to admit my struggle was in the flashbacks. They had some emotional impact, but they weren't structured in a way that worked all that well for me. I struggled with Christopher Plummer's portrayal of the father. He didn't seem to be consistent in his behavior and often did things that felt unfair to his son, which was hard for me to swallow since I liked the son. It didn't help that not all of the flashbacks occur in chronological order so it was a bit disorienting trying to figure out where we were each time.

The pacing of Beginners was a tad slow, and it's a very quiet film as well. Ordinarily this would drive me crazy, but I didn't mind it all that much here. It almost seemed to be a logical fit for Ewan McGregor's character as he is slogging through life trying to figure things out. Beginners kind of defies a lot of genre classification so it might be a challenge to recommend it to others, but it worked for me. There was just something about it that kept me fully invested and even had me walking away with a smile.
May 8, 2017
Fabulously melancholy
Super Reviewer
½ March 28, 2017
How can anyone learn to love or love freely when we all come from such flawed backgrounds, when no one knows how to love? This work intelligently explores this dynamic with two souls who come together specifically because of their tangled roots and their innate distrust of even themselves. Put this on a double feature with The Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind.
Super Reviewer
½ March 6, 2017
Independent cinema can range from a student film with not a single dollar to its budget, to an Oscar-nominated film worth 40-50 million dollars. As long as its not backed by one of the wide distributors worldwide, its technically an indie film. That being said, Beginners is about as indie as indie gets when comparing it to some of the wider releases. While this is not a difficult film to sit through, it may not appeal to everyone. Independent films have always been able to tell simpler and more bizarre stories, due to the fact that they are not relying on a big box office return in order to make their film. This is a sweet 100 minute film about life and accepting certain things throughout it. Released back in 2010, there is a reason it didn't win too many awards, but that doesn't take away from the fact that I believe it to be a very enjoyable piece of filmmaking. If you are a fan of cinema and have yet to see Beginners, here is why I think it's worth your time.

Following Oliver, a 38-year-old man who is living with a recently tortured past, as he falls in love one more time, the film begins to explore what has given him such grief over the past few years. Having his mother pass away after being married to his father for over 45 years, to then find out his father had actually been gay the entire time, to having to accept him falling for another man, to then having to take care of him as he passed away four years later, Ewan McGregor delivers a wonderfully sincere performance here. In a film that desperately needs its leading man to deliver the goods, McGregor was perfect casting decision. This film deals with a lot of heartbreak, but that's life, right?

Unlike films like Blue Valentine or the recent Manchester by the Sea (films with hardly any levity), the romantic aspect is truly the only thing giving life to this saddening premise. Beginners is a very heartfelt story about to unlikely people falling in love, while the past is looming over them like a bad disease. It's definitely not a film that warrants many viewings, but it's a nice treat for independent film fans. To me, in order to balance a film perfectly, there has to be an even amount of happy to go along with the sad. This film does that in spades, which is why I enjoyed it so much. That being said, the main issue I have with this film is in its simplicity.

Sure, some people may find the fact that a 75-year-old man falling in love with a 35-year-old man to be risky territory, but if you are willing to explore an aspect like that, why not go for it? Their relationship is not explored enough in my opinion, leaving little to no impact on me for the future setting of this film. Flashing back and forth through time to show how our main character got to be where he is, I found the present day more interesting than the past, due to the fact that the interesting portions of the past feel incomplete and not fleshed out enough. Beginners is a very ambitious film in the way it tells its story, but fails to impress all that much.

In the end, Beginners is a very important story that more people need to see. It went under the radar upon release and I believe quite a few people missed it. Without much awards consideration, it still accumulated quite a few positive reviews. I think this is a very solid film worth checking out. With great writing for each character on-screen, some fine directing, and a premise that takes a few chances (even though not nearly enough), this is s piece of cinema worth checking out. I don't see myself ever coming to love this film in the future, but I would definitely consider a few viewings to revisit these likeable characters. Beginners is a solid watch.
February 15, 2017
While I appreciate the story, the characters and emotions didn't properly impact.
February 10, 2017
With some significant - but basic - tweaks, this film could be awe-inspiring. Instead, it leaps back and forth from the totally pointless to the simply magnificent. If it could undergo a full re-cut, a severe reduction on dialogue, and the introduction of more shots like the roller-skating through the hotel lobby, whilst at the same time carefully preserving the beautiful sentiment and character it possesses, then there's the full likelihood of a masterpiece. Easier said than done? Maybe.
January 9, 2017
It's a lovely yet sad film with some great performances, told in a well-construed non-linear structure
January 2, 2017
"É tão fácil mantermo-nos presentes e deixar as pessoas na mesma"
December 31, 2016
It's good movie to watch
December 30, 2016
Beginners is a rare, witty and sentimental film which wanders through memory, nostalgy and life. This piece subtly shows its viewers how romance, parenthood, and childhood are rather a single sentimental experience, which ocassionally expresses itself through nostalgia, happiness, euphory and hopelessness.
December 28, 2016
My favorite movie of 2011.
December 21, 2016
'Beginners', staring Ewan McGregor as the son of a complicated couple, isn't necessarily about starting anew as much as it is about never giving up. McGregor who has amazing chemistry with Christopher Plummer, who portrays his father. Plummer, who won both Golden Globe and Academy Awards for his performance, has a childlike innocence to the way he plays his role. This movie is fun, and light, despite some of the narrative abnormalities.

Hard to follow at times, and annoying in tone, 'Beginners' is worth watching for the performances over the quirks. And if goofiness is your thing, then this is a perfect little indy that will sooth your soul. Final Score: 8.3/10
December 6, 2016
Beginners takes cinematic risks through a simple yet beautiful semi-true story with wit and charm.
November 21, 2016
It's absolutely, beautifully edited, and impressively written. Christopher Plummer is awesome in this. The father, son story mixed with the whole idea of his own father coming out later in his life is an interesting touch that makes Beginners stand out among other dramas out there. It's an LGBTQ friendly picture, that truly packs a punch for everyone all around. That scrappy dog is adorable too! But the problem was, any time Plummer wasn't onscreen, i tuned out immediately. The romance between McGregor and the french girl bored me to death.. I apologize, I do.. It's just not my cup of tea. It's not a film I'd advise against, for anyone however. There's a lot of praise to go around.
November 6, 2016
A favorite in its unique way of conversing with the audience.
½ November 4, 2016
A particularly cutsie indie film, but so endlessly melancholic it's hard to really enjoy all that much. On top of that, several times, McGregor's character is jarringly inconsistent, and there's quite a few rather contrived moments too.
Super Reviewer
½ October 3, 2016
Contains lots of voice-over narration and non-linear storytelling. Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is a perpetually gloomy graphic artist, sho we see as a boy with his eccentric mother and a man working on a long term relationship and dealing with news from his father. Semi-autobiographical from writer/director Mike Mills life. Mélanie Laurent, the year after she appeared in Inglourious Basterds, is Anna, the love interest to Oliver. Christopher Plummer's character Hal, Oliver's father, finally starts living his authentic life as a gay man and faces terminal cancer. A sweet story about modern day relationships. Checking this movie off my watchlist means that I have completed my primary Oscar list. Going back to the beginning of the Academy Awards in 1927, I have now seen every film (that I can find) that has won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Director, Writing, Lead and Supporting Actor, and Lead and Supporting Actress.
½ October 2, 2016
A-
Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, and Melanie Laurent provide warmth, subtle humor, and a good feeling in the roles they were chosen to play. I have to say that the story that ties McGregor's character to the two characters in his life (his French girlfriend, and his gay father) has brief moments of inconsistency, but the feeling and execution are what makes 'Beginners' a deep narrative commentary on the historic events that happened and homosexuality itself. It is also a good movie to sit through while sipping on a hot glass of coffee.
½ September 24, 2016
honestly i'm not comfortable with LGBT movies.
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