Sunday, June 26, 2011
A pedigree cast of Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Melanie Laurent can't save this plodding, depressing story. Even the addition of a cute dog doesn't help. Written and directed by Mike Mills, this autobiographical story meanders back in forth in time, has characters that only appeal to the writer and follows no logical course except to constantly remind us how dysfunctional and sad all the characters are.
Mr. McGregor plays a humorless man who discovers his 78 year old father, played by Mr. Plummer, is gay and then shortly thereafter, also dying from cancer. I'm not giving anything away as all of this is revealed in the opening moments. The two men are wonderful actors and play their roles well but the material makes it hard to care for either one of them.
Jumping ahead a few months after his father has died, Mr. McGregor begins a relationship with Ms. Laurent (so good in "Inglorious Basterds"). We learn that his character is terrible at relationships and this one seems to be no different. The tedious film ends as they begin again (hence the title) and that's the big emotional payoff. Ironic that for a film called "Beginners", I couldn't wait for it to end.