Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 17: Beginners

Date: July 17
Film: Beginners [2011, usa]
Where: Tulsa/in theatre
Who with: Loner style
Rating: ****
Melanie Laurent: *****!

Beginners is the new film from director Mike Mills and it's going to challenge Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris as the most charming film of the summer award for 2011. Consider it an art film with a lot of heart to it as Ewan McGregor plays an illustrator grieving for his father whilst also falling head over heels for a French actress. Beginners jumps all over the place with flashbacks, illustrations and images to tell the story and that takes some time getting used to. There's even a little bit of subtitled dog telepathy as will see in the well-done trailer below. At times, Beginners is a tad to self-conscious for me, but the film has so many wonderful small moments about "life" that I was swept into its loving arms.

It's been a long time since the whole Hollywoodian idea of the onscreen "meet-cute" [you know, when characters meet in that special, magical way] has had such a romantic, enchanting intermingling of two people the way McGregor and Melanie Laurent come together in Beginners. I loved Laurent as Shosanna in Inglourious Basterds, but she just shot into my 2011 "top five" with her role as Anna. I don't want to spoil it, but suffice to say it's hard not to fall in love a little bit with a couple who spend their first few hours together the way they do. It's sequences like this one that has given me kind of a warped sense of romance when I'm in real world versus the fantasy world of movies.


Eva said...

I saw this the weekend before last. I really liked it, too. And their meeting was magical and funny. I'm a straight girl, but I got a little bit of crush on ML here, too.

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

How could you not fall under either her or Ewan's spell? I have certain friends who love, love, love him, so I'm guessing they would be into this film due to that. I need to see her other films now!

Eva said...

they gave her the best messy slept-in cute hair in this movie - I wonder how they do that - it's not fair - I think a lot of people want that and it looks like rolled out of bed but really takes a lot of work with just the right amounts of tangles and flyaways and all that. Mine either looks messy (almost never) or very neat (almost always). La vita non e giusta!

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

I think there's something in the genes of French women so that they have that kind of hair ability!

hidden staircase said...

took my mom to this at the harvard exit. frenchie girl...she's almost too perfect cute! i am one who loves, loves, loves ewan...and in this one, it was no different. real sweetness and kindness to his character. loved the bits with the dog. i loved the scene at the party in the kitchen (after they had met) and costumes were finally coming off and they were laughing together with everyone...very intimate. christopher plummer spectacular too!

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

Staircase--I knew you'd like Ewan in this, but didn't know if you should see it due to the father's illness element. Glad you and your mom saw it. And, no, Melanie Laurent is not too perfect cute, ha. Ewan's character is an idiot if he doesn't want to be with her!

Cinerobota said...

Right now my favorite movie of the year. Delightful, sweet, touching, funny. Amazing. I love Ewan, but the best actor award has got to go to that super talented jack russell.

Joshua Blevins Peck said...

Should have been a bulldog. Every dog role should go to English Bulldogs!