Beginners - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Beginners Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 13, 2016
This is certainly not a comedy (the sense of humor doesn't work that well), and I found it sad and depressing, contrary to those who thought it was sweet and optimistic. Besides, the characters seem too shallow in their artificial indie quirkiness and the dialogue is very annoying.
June 4, 2016
This dreary comedy and aloof drama failed to reach me.
½ May 6, 2016
Some good comedic and dramatic moments but generally quite dull.

A 38-year old graphic designer, Oliver (played by Ewan McGregor), is dealing with the death, from cancer, of his father, Hal (Christopher Plummer). Four years earlier Oliver's mother, Georgia (Mary Page Keller) died, also of cancer. Georgia's death was the catalyst for Hal coming out as gay, and finding a boyfriend. Oliver meets a French actress, Anna (Melanie Laurent), and they start a relationship. It's not smooth sailing though.

Very uneven. Some good, quirkily funny, moments, especially involving the dog, who seems to get all the best lines (!). Also some good dramatic moments, especially those dealing with grief and how Oliver uses sketches to show his feelings.

Unfortunately, these moments are few and far between. For the most part the movie meanders around, not finding a purpose or momentum. The scenes involving Oliver and Anna get bogged down in drawn-out soap opera-ish melodrama and always kill off any spark that might have appeared before. The ending is a damp squib.

Can't fault the performances. The highlight is Christopher Plummer as Hal. He was perfect for the role, providing a great mix of sensitivity and passion. Plummer won Best Supporting Actor at the 2012 Oscars, his first and (to date) only Oscar. At 82 he became the oldest winner of a competitive Oscar.
½ February 1, 2016
Though, it is slow at times, Beginners is a charming yet sad realization to what real love is about and the tragedy to what it feels like to be alone.
January 18, 2016
Saw Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer.
January 7, 2016
Beautiful story of loneliness, dependence and the relationships that spark when least expected. Plummer is wonderfully witty as a 75 year-old man who's recently come out.
½ December 17, 2015
Is everyone whispering in this movie?
½ December 15, 2015
There are definitely some nice elements at play here, but the final act was a bit unrewarding.
½ December 15, 2015
Beginners is a non linear narrative that starts out as a conventional romance movie that turns out to be an unconventional romance movie. McGregor's and Laurent's chemistry with one another is so natural and both give great performances (Plummer is also fantastic). The Dialogue is witty and the characters are charming and quirky. The way the story is structured and the way it's edited make it so that whenever it cuts back to what happened to McGregor's father it never feels jarring which is important when doing a non linear narrative.
½ December 13, 2015
Plummer's amazing performance is worthy of the Oscar and it does have an interesting idea, but the movie around him beats the "gay" problem to a pulp and is dull for almost its entirety. Ewan McGregor spends most of the movie wandering around aimlessly and mopey. The conclusion the film was very heartfelt and well done, though.
December 1, 2015
the name of the movie should had been "the sads" like the posters he sketched..
½ November 19, 2015
This movie is based on many real situations and is very grounded and real in my opinion, but people tend to underestimate the values it presents. 3 Couples, 3 different situations. And yeah, nobody seems to mention Goran Visnjic - who also played in this movie.
½ November 11, 2015
Not your typical popcorn movie, but it is a well made indie-drama. Beautiful performances from Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, and Melanie Laurent have driven this movie greatly, but this movie still has a charming yet sad story instilled to its core. Sadly, this is not the kind of movie I can watch again and again, and several scenes are dull and forgettable. All in all, it is a fine movie.
November 3, 2015
I recognize how people can like this film but for me I couldn't maintain any interest, looking at the genres listed on this site I can't agree with it as I didn't find Beginners to be either comedic or dramatic. Lukewarm water is all it is.
½ November 3, 2015
Beginners is a quirky tale about the many complexities of modern love. It offers artistic storytelling and sentimentality at its finest. Although it falls short on exploring in-depth multi-dimensional characters, the cast gives it their all and offers the audience a wonderful show.
October 24, 2015
Sooo much heart. Christopher Plummer is exceptional.
½ October 15, 2015
As Oliver Field's father, Hal, is discovering he has a cancerous tumor in his lung, there is one more thing he would like to get off his chest- he's gay. Over the next four years, Hal transforms into a fun-loving, eccentric, friendly man quite different from his routine, austere former self. Oliver sees these changes in his father, who is now terminally ill but trying to make light of it, and unknowingly changes himself.

"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.
½ September 27, 2015
This movie really touched my heart, love is not easy for everyone, it can be very scary for some, so I really related to this movie <3
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