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DVD Review: Beginners

Love can be so awkward. Consider the predicament of Hal (ChristopherPlummer, never better). Now that his wife of 44 years has died, he’sdecided, at 75, that it’s time to come out as the gay man he’s always(secretly) been.

Genre: Comedy

Director: Mike Mills

Stars: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent

***

Love can be so awkward. Consider the predicament of Hal (Christopher Plummer, never better). Now that his wife of 44 years has died, he’s decided, at 75, that it’s time to come out as the gay man he’s always (secretly) been.

Hal’s transformation involves a complete wardrobe change, a decades-younger boyfriend (Goran Visnjic) and considerable adjustment on the part of his son Oliver (Ewan McGregor).

At age 38, hetero Oliver’s got some love problems of his own. He’s failed in several serious relationships and is currently courting a French actress named Anna (Melanie Laurent).

Not one of these relationships compares to the devotion Oliver has for his clever Jack Russell, Arthur.

In flashbacks and vignettes set to a Vaudeville-era soundtrack, these delicate story threads are teased out.

Remarkably, Beginners’ disjointed narratives don’t test our patience. Instead, director Mike Mills’ characters become more endearing the more we learn about their foibles.

 
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