Graphic Artist Mike Mills Starts Something New with Beginners
|Mélanie Laurent and Ewan McGregor|
There's a Jack Russell terrier that speaks in subtitles, a French pixie who doesn't speak at all because she has laryngitis (which eventually gives way to an ah-dor-aw-blah accent), and a scene in which the artist and the pixie (Melanie Laurent) go roller-skating with the dog--in an apartment building hallway, yet!
Dying old Dad (Christopher Plummer) is cute, too, hosting a party for his new gay friends where they all watch The Times of Harvey Milk. So Beginners might sound insufferable, but it isn't--or at least not completely. Mills's second feature (after Thumbsucker) has way too many quirks for its own good, but it works--less as the tale of a hip oldster enjoying a much-younger boyfriend (Goran Visnjic) en route to the cemetery than as the story of an artist who, in his own way, has only begun to come out.