A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Just like last year, when The King's Speech came out, what looks like one of the best movies of the year isn't showing in our area. Beginners, with Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor, is actually only showing on 5 screens, according to IMDB.What's the use of having arts theatres in our area if they aren't going to obtain and show the rarer quality films for us? The theaters are full of schlock lately -- expensive schlock at that.

UPDATE (23 July 2011): Clearview Theater in Red Bank finally started showing Beginners. The ushers were escorting latecomers to the few remaining seats because the place was sold out for this evening's 7 pm performance.

This seemingly simple film has a complex message about love and relationship. The subtitle, after all, is This is What Love Feels Like. I can name at least ten relationships worth considering from each person's perspective. 
  • The father (Christopher Plummer) and son (Ewan McGregor). 
  • The father and his wife (Mary Page Keller)
  • The father and his boyfriend (Goran Visnjic)
  • The father and his friends
  • The son and his girlfriend (Melanie Laurent)
  • The son and his mother
  • The son and his father's boyfriend
  • The son and his father's dog (Cosmo)
  • The son and his friends
  • The son's girlfriend and her father
The film brings up some topical social questions but only in passing, never to the point that they need to be addressed or resolved. The questions serve to color the mood while the focus of the film remains on the many relationships.

The movie takes a slow pace, which I suspect is to allow the audience plenty of time to dwell on the emotions. It does drag a bit at times. I suspect that the director could have edited out a few minutes of the son's relationship with his girlfriend and not lost continuity. Maybe the fact that the director is telling his own story offers an explanation?

I suspect Christopher Plummer will earn an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actor for his performance in Beginners. While the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010, it didn't open in Los Angeles County until last month, so the film qualifies for consideration for this year's awards.

1 comment:

  1. I saw Beginners on Saturday night at Red Bank and have updated my June article to give you my two cents on the film.