Saturday, March 3, 2012

Beginners (2011)

A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover. [imdb]

Nominated for 1 Oscar:

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer (WINNER)

Best Supporting Actor has been such a flashy category for the past 4 years, with winning performances that were really... out there: Bardem as a killer, Ledger's Joker, Waltz's Natzi, Bale's drug addict boxer; all of them fantastic performances. Which doesn't mean that Plummer isn't worthy of the win (he is), but that his performance is much more quiet & subtle than we're used to in this category. What I love about this character & the performance is how little idealized it is, how he's not playing a kind old man, but a real character, a real person with flaws and weaknesses. It's a good performance, a worthy winner, also my choice from the 5.

Getting to the movie, I'd say I admire it more than I like it. The performances are all good, but the film just ends up being too slow at times (and not slow in the Tree of Life kind of way); it just didn't always challenge me, so I guess that could be the screenplay's fault. The love story of the two leads feels honest and it's nicely constructed, but I wonder now if the film isn't a bit overdirected.

My rating for the film: 7.5/10. I just can't love it.


  1. I need to see it again, but from what I remember it was a touch too quirky for my tastes.

  2. Plummer was indeed really great and I'm quite happy that a real supporting part won. Yes, it's subtle, but it's very much an Oscar performance (respected and old actor, straight man playing a gay man dying a terrible death + overdue factor). He had this one very much locked. :D The movie was quite enjoyable, IMO.

  3. Perfect review...i admired it more than I liked it, which is too bad because it had a lot of great things going for it. I just felt a little objective about it. Plummer was definitely deserving though.