Posts Tagged ‘Mélanie Laurent’
From the current issue of Clash.
Still recognised for his creative background in music (videos for Air and Yoko Ono, the design of Sonic Youth’s ‘Washing Machine’ cover), Mike Mills built his directorial debut on the back of 2005’s Thumbsucker. With this, his second full-length feature, he uses his own family background as the central narrative which supports secondary themes of impermanence and the recent history of homosexuality in the United States.
Ewan McGregor stars as Oliver who faces two major revelations from his father (Christopher Plummer): his homosexuality after years of marriage and a serious illness. A short flashforward sees Oliver in an unlikely relationship with actress Anna (Mélanie Laurent).
So far, so mawkish? It sure sounds so. Yet Mills’ artistic leanings (graffiti, illustrations, still photography) and eccentric use of humour (one of the most prominent characters is a subtitled dog) allow Beginners to move away from cheesy sentimentality and towards something that rings true with its own innate sense of style.
The simple honesty of the father / son relationship contrasts with the less tangible / more pretentious difficulties experienced throughout Oliver and Anna’s blossoming love. Nonetheless, the film’s sweet realism should appeal to anyone craving a cooler cousin of Lost In Translation.