Saturday, March 5, 2016
LGBT Film Review: Beginners
This absorbing drama follows a graphic artist as he comes to grips with the imminent death of his father, who, at 75, has one last secret: he's gay.
One doesn't normally associate a story about a dying father and a son coping with his imminent death as the beginnings of a sweet and charming comedy, but that's Beginners, and it does it with remarkable panache, wit, style, and a whole lot of heart. Ewan McGregor is devastatingly adorable and believable as the instantly likeable Oliver who tries to cope with life as best as he can, before and after his father dying, and finding new love along the way.
It was refreshing how Beginners didn't hinge on Oliver's father being gay, and it didn't have Oliver react to his father being gay with negativity, drama, and bewilderment, but instead with immediate love and acceptance of his father wanting to be out, proud, and even dating a younger man. Along with Oliver's new outlook on life and love, I was also living for how there was some insight into how Oliver's father finds himself at the realization that being gay at 75 is rough and hard, but not even this is explored with doom and gloom. Harsh and cold realities are faced with the comedy in such a nuanced way that we don't often seen in films of this nature. Like the story itself, Beginners is inspiring. It's also engaging with the visuals galore that weave delicately throughout the course of Oliver's life, his father's life, and the many other great cast of characters that make Beginners so alive.
This may be a spoiler alert: love, at the end, conquers fear. But how that happens, how these characters get there, how Beginners shows this is truly poignant, hilarious, smart, and beautiful.
* This is currently on Netflix *