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Movie Review – Beginners

Like Mike
Like Mike

As I’ve mentioned a few times before, I missed a lot of films at the International Film Festival this year, even though I did pack in 29 films! However, I had a feeling that a decent amount of the ones I missed would turn up at cinemas after the festival anyway, and I knew I’d get to see them then as either press screenings, or doing it ‘old school’ and actually buying a ticket. ‘Beginners’ was one film that was on my list to see at the festival but got dropped, along with a whole load of other ones, but as predicted, it came back, and I got my press invite for it.  This made me very happy, as it’s often easy to completely miss films due to the sheer volume of them in the market place. Sometimes I don’t even get around to seeing them on DVD until years later, so suffice to say, I snapped up this press invite very quickly.

“Thirty-eight year old graphic artist Oliver Fields has just lost his father Hal Fields to cancer, after Oliver's mother Georgia Fields passed away five years earlier. Oliver is naturally a sullen man due to his growing up relationship with his parents (his mother who had a unique view on life) and watching his parents' cordial but somewhat distant relationship with each other, but is more so now because of his personal family loss. Oliver embarks on a relationship with Anna, a French actress, which causes many obstacles to arise, including Anna's own vagabond lifestyle and Oliver needing to take care of who was originally Hal's very needy Jack Russell terrier, Arthur.”

I’ve seen some simply great films this year, and I feel very lucky to have seen them, and this film happily sits up there with them as it was just such a great film! Sure Ewan McGregor’s American accent was a bit dodgy when playing the main character, and the relationship story beats were so spot on that it almost made you not like some characters, but still, this was just such fine storytelling and film making.  The issue with the characters really is a non issue, it’s more just saying they did such a good job of taking a snapshot of a ‘real’ period of someone’s life that it couldn’t help but make you draw similarities between the screen and your own life.  McGregor is also such a likeable actor that the accent was really a non issue as well.  So, simply put, I loved this film and could see it scrape onto my top 10 list by year’s end.

9 out of 10 from me.

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