Mike Mills’ film, Beginners, is not one of my favorite films by any measure. It is not light, it is not quite a love story (although it claims to be), and humor is only present as a necessary relief from the otherwise intensely depressive introspection that the main character, Oliver (played by perpetually melancholy Ewan McGregor), engages in throughout the duration of the film. Just to be fair, if you are in the mood for something that will make you laugh/cry/question your existence, then you are in for a treat.
Despite not liking Beginners initially, I couldn’t stop thinking about it! Mills executes his script into a film with remarkable brilliance as a story and as a pretty mesmerizing piece of art. Some of the most incredible moments in the film happen in the graphic sequences of images that Oliver, a graphic designer, supposedly has in his head. Turns out, the film is actually based on director Mike Mills’ actual life, and the beginnings of his career as a graphic designer. The bit about his father coming out at 75 is also true apparently. I found some of his old designs (below) from skateboard companies and bands in the 80’s… very cool.