Beginners 2011 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(138) IMDb 7.2/10
Available in HD
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Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent star in this uplifting comedy about a father's confession and how it inspires his son to open himself up to a true relationship.

Starring:
Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer
Runtime:
1 hour 45 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Beginners

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Beginners [Blu-ray]

Price: $12.64

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Product Details

Genres Comedy, Drama, Romance
Director Mike Mills
Starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer
Supporting actors Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic, Kai Lennox, Mary Page Keller, Keegan Boos, China Shavers, Melissa Tang, Amanda Payton, Luke Diliberto, Lou Taylor Pucci, Bambadjan Bamba, Hana Jane, Samuel T. Ritter, Jennifer Lauren, Reynaldo Pacheco, Jodi Long, Bruce French, Leslie Shea
Studio NBCU
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

A quirky movie, but very moving and emotional - in a good way.
FarOutPost
In the last years of his life, Hal finally begins to be his true self, and Oliver finally begins to know and love the father that he never knew before.
DEWEY M.
And again, the clothes he's asked to wear (striped shirts dangerously close to Marcel Marceau-land) do NOT help him.
RMurray847

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 4, 2011
Format: DVD
There's an emotional acuity to this bittersweet 2011 dramedy that makes the loose structure of the first-person narrative easier to take than one would expect. Director/screenwriter Mike Mills bases his movie on a series of events that occurred in his own life. Just months after Mills' own mother passed away, his 75-year-old father announced that despite their 44-year marriage he was gay and intended to spend his remaining days exploring the hidden side of his libido. Cancer cut short those plans but not the life affirming spirit with which he explored his new lifestyle. It certainly helps that Mills cast 81-year-old Christopher Plummer as the father since his naturally erudite manner complements his character Hal's innately fey quality in a way that makes his late-blooming emotional emancipation all the sweeter. It's a lovely performance well worth remembering during next year's award season.

The protagonist of the story is Oliver, a sensitive cartoonist who is nearing forty and finding himself unable to sustain a lasting relationship. Family dysfunction has taken its toll on Oliver given that he discovers six months after his mother Georgia's death that Hal was in the closet most of Oliver's life, thus explaining why his parents never appeared to connect emotionally. Oliver is obviously concerned a similar fate of repressed feelings will befall him as he rummages through Hal's things after his death. Flashbacks show a childhood dominated by Georgia's eccentric manner with Hal relegated to the shadows of doorways always on his way to another business trip. Meanwhile, closer to the present, Oliver meets a free-spirited French actress named Anna, whose flirtatious manner gives way to her own vulnerability since she has her own family-related challenges in developing romantic connections.
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62 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Violet Quill on July 2, 2011
Format: DVD
I went with eagerness to this film. I tend to see many gay-themed movies. This one moved me enormously, and it wasn't the gay character, Christopher Plummer, who most affected me, although he was very, very good. What hit me hard about the movie was Ewan McGregor's deeply sensitive portrayal of a lonely man. This movie is not about how a straight son comes to grips with his gay father who comes out very late in life. It's about a man approaching middle age (McGregor) who realizes he has never really loved. I am rarely (and I mean rarely) been moved to tears in a movie. This was an exception.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DEWEY M. VINE VOICE on March 1, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When do we stop being our true self-- and why? And when, and why, after so many years, do we begin to be our true self again? These questions are asked and answered in Mike Mills' autobiographical film "Beginners."
Oliver Fields (Ewan McGregor;, playing a film variation of Mills himself) is a graphic designer who can't seem to communicate his feelings or maintain a long-term emotional relationship. Oliver, though not verbally expressive or emotionally demonstrative, does express his emotions through graphic design and illustration. The movie flashes back into the past and flashes forward again into the present or more recent past. As we see Oliver's relationship with his parents, we see how he became so emotionally conditioned. His parents endured a distant 45 year marriage, in an environment where emotions and secrets were never revealed. After his mother's (Mary Page Keller) death, his 75 year old father Hal (Christopher Plummer; "Hamlet," "The Sound Of Music", "Inside Man") finally comes out of the closet as a gay man. "And I don't want to be just theoretically gay," he says, "I want to do something about it." And, in the final years of his life, Hal embraces his life with gusto and passion ; becoming an active member of the gay community and having a loving relationship with a much younger man (Goran Visnjig). In the last years of his life, Hal finally begins to be his true self, and Oliver finally begins to know and love the father that he never knew before. In the end, Hal refuses to acknowledge the cancer that will end the life he has just begun to live.
In the present day, inspired by his father's example, Oliver decides to embark upon a relationship with the beguiling and seemingly free-spirited Anna (Melanie Laurent).
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andy Orrock VINE VOICE on November 10, 2011
Format: DVD
My enthusiasm for this gem from Mike Mills is unbounded. I loved everything about it, from knowing that it springs from Mills' own life experiences, to its casting (Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Mélanie Laurent -- brilliant all), to the care with which Mills crafted his work (he's clearly an artist first), to the delightful surprises he embedded within his work (suddenly turning the screen over to the colors of the rainbow flag one by one is yet one dazzlingly original touch). Always destined for the art house, it deserves a wider audience.

Best and, for me, the most memorable scene among many: a costume party in which McGregor's character, Oliver, goes as Sigmund Freud. Soon, in character, he's psychoanalyzing party guests. Suddenly, a wordless Mélanie Laurent slides on to the couch. Eyeing him, she turns the tables: "Why are you so sad?" she pens in quick note to him. He's surprised: he thought he was fooling everyone. Clearly, she's seen through it. "How did you know?" he asks. Another note: this one, simply a drawing of his sad eyes. That scene - equal parts crafty, neat humor and sorrow - is emblematic of the film. From Oliver's reaction, you know straight away that Laurent's Anna will become a very important person in his life.

And that's not even getting to the heart of the movie: the tale of Oliver's father, Hal, his coming out in his late 70s, and the evolving relationship between father and son. Hal's tale - and the tale of Mills' own father - is both heartbreaking for a life lost but, at the same time, uplifting for the spirit of grabbing what you can while there's still time left. Christopher Plummer has never been better. He looks and sounds terrific here.
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