Thursday, December 22, 2011

Beginners (2010)



“Six months later, my father told me he was gay. He had just turned 75. I always remember him wearing a purple sweater when he told me this but actually he wore a robe.”

            Whenever I see a hipster or even worse someone trying to be a hipster I feel like an old fart from the sixties saying they hate hippies. “Damn those stupid hipsters” I always think or say aloud if someone if with me whenever I see one. When I watched the movie Beginners I felt like I was watching the biggest hipster movie ever: it was moody, sad, dramatic, the tones were tan and sunny like a page out of a Hollister catalog, and a ton of other things.
            The story of Beginners takes place in 2003. It is about a man named Oliver Fields. Five years ago his mother died and then a few months later his father Hal (Christopher Plummer) came out that he was gay and had been all his life. Oliver explains that his father grew up in the ‘50s and ‘60s and admitting to being gay was completely out of the question. Looking back Oliver sees that he had a weird relationship with both his parents and notices his mother and father had a very distant relationship.
            Fives years after his mother dies his father dies as well. Throughout the movie there are flashbacks to the last few months Hal’s life. Oliver sees that his father was so happy and completely in love with a younger man named Andy (Goran Visnjic).
            Oliver meets a French actress named Anna (Mélanie Laurent) at a party. They seem to like spending time with each other… and I say “seem to” only because there is like zero emotion in the relationship they are so blah. At the end of the movie they realize they really care about each other and want to make things work out.
            I am not even sure if this summary is fully correct I got really bored with it about half way through. Sure I could have stopped it but I needed to see how it ended, I was hoping it would pep up a little bit. Everyone’s performance except for Christopher Plummer’s and Goran Visnjic’s were boring as hell. Seriously if I knew these people in real life I think I would either want to punch them or give them a jolt of adrenaline or something to make them less dull. I understand the movie is sad and it has a great message that it is never too late to be happy or to change but it was so boring and I could not get over that at all.
            As I said I felt like I was watching a hipster movie: all the clothing, the coloring, the mood, even Oliver’s job as a graphic artist is ridiculously hipster! Now I am an art major and obviously a film lover but I am so not like this. I can appreciate an artistic movie (read my review on Jean Cocteau’s Blood of a Poet) but when it is made like this one I go out of my mind. I can also understand the need to be creative and different and this movie surely was but it went overboard.
            Beginners is not my cup of tea. The only reason I even bothered to see it as because Mélanie Laurent was in it and after seeing her amazing performance in Inglourious Basterds I wanted to see her in something else. She was not bad but she was dull along with everything else. Hopefully she will be in something better soon. The plot is depressing and the directors and writers focus too much on that. I guess that was the point but there needed to be something happy in all the depression. My attention was not paid enough to Beginners. The only attention getting part of the movie was the dog Arthur.