"What is REAL?" 'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.
'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'
'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'
'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
These words stand at the core of the film. They were used by Oliver's father in an art opening he curated composed of stuffed animals collected in his community. At the time, unknown to Oliver, this art opening was most likely a tribute to the then recently deceased Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office. These words resonate in the lives of both Hal and Oliver, with Hal becoming real bit by bit, with Hal's stoic nature preventing him from indulging in exploration of his true self until he is widowed and near death. While Oliver becomes real all at once, leaping from his father's death in an exploration of love, happiness, and himself. Oliver's transformation from his former self takes the form of a young boy bearing witness to his parents' empty marriage to having the courage to explore the happiness in love on his own terms.
With excellent performances from Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, Beginners manages to be both a comedy and a deeply moving portrait of a father and son. The bond between Oliver and his dog, Arthur captures and mimics the bond between Oliver and his mother as a young child. Mike Mills' autobiographical film uses tenderness and humor to sketch out the enduring bonds between the main characters.
It was painfully slow, and I found it extremely depressing on every level. Definitely one of, if not the worst film I've ever suffered through. I might prefer to have my wisdom teeth out again.
Beginners is a film best viewed alone. It will stay with you, perhaps haunt you and most definitely cause you to reflect on your own unique and unpredictable life.
Words fail me to express everything that has made me feel such situations to swim unknown in our society , as the characters face the events that befall them and their relations , as it can apparently be easy will inevitably complicate pro not cause major disasters both in life and in others by the inexperience of being beginners, because the complexity of life allows us to make mistakes both young and old . But despite being rookies, if we say yes to life and followed our instincts , we can make the sad and complex becomes cheerful and simple.