|Scene from 20th Century Women|
Six years ago, director Mike Mills released one of the most striking LGBT comedies in recent history with Beginners. Focusing on an often ignored perspective of a father coming out as gay, he made a tender and effective story that paralleled the embrace of life with the strange news that few sons ever get to experience. To some extent, his follow-up 20th Century Women feels like his attempt to discuss his mother's life, whether pulled from personal accounts or not. The story follows a mother (Annette Bening) as she raises children in 1979 during a changing culture. From the looks of the latest trailer, it's bound to be just as charming and effective as he's always been.
Beginners lead Christopher Plummer to a Best Supporting Actor win. It is a move that more than suggests that Mills is an actor's director and will do his best to capture performances as an art form. With the Oscar season starting to take shape, there's been consistent chatter about 20th Century Women being a sequel to Beginners' success story. The reviews have been positive and the rumor is that Bening is a shoe-in for a nomination. While this is all speculation, even with only two more months of 2016 to pull from, it does seem likely that she is one of the few surefire hits at this point in the Oscars conversation.
If nothing else, 20th Century Women covers a side of womanhood that isn't often explored in cinema. It's about a mother raising daughters and a son in the transitional period of 1979. It's got potential to explore the matriarchy in a way that few contemporary films have really stood the chance of doing. In a year where the Democratic presidential nominee is a woman, it only seems right that female voices get their fair shake in cinema as well. With many pegging Bening as a front runner, it only will lead to speculation as to whether the film can outshine Beginners and, at very least, get more nominations.
Check out the trailer below:
That looks very good. Here's the plot according to IMDb:
The story of three women who explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s.
If nothing else, I am looking forward to the film. I also apologize that it took me this long to write a piece specifically about the film, as it has been heating up Oscars conversations for some time. I also missed the chance to discuss the first (equally great) trailer a month ago. For now, just know that this is lead by a very strong cast and I would love to see Greta Gerwig finally get an Oscar nomination. As a fan of Beginners, I have been looking forward to whatever he does next. I don't know why it took six years, but I'm glad that he finally did something. Only time will tell now whether this will pan out, or if it will simply be a Spirit Awards contender. For me, it's one to look out for and I do hope that Bening, Gerwig, and Elle Fanning are able to show up strong in the acting fields. We'll just have to wait and see.