Beginners, Mike Mills (2011)

beginners_a_lThis begins slowly, wistfully, bittersweetly, and immediately seizes my attention, but it takes less than an hour for me to start wishing that everyone involved would suddenly come down with the bubonic plague. The main characters here are, purportedly, horribly damaged and in pain. Self-hatred, self-doubt, self-denial! Plus cancer! Your natural inclination is to feel sorry for these beautiful and tragic people, but they do their very best to thwart your instincts by being the most insufferable bunch of self-involved moony whiners LA has ever seen, and that’s saying something. The tone here reminds me of S. Coppola’s Lost in Translation. The stylish weltschmerz. Every space — exterior or interior — just-so beautiful. My creeping horrified realization that no one on the screen ever has to think about money.

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