20th Century Women

2016

Comedy / Drama

42
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 77%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 8804

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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March 16, 2017 at 08:12 AM

Director

Cast

Elle Fanning as Julie
Alia Shawkat as Trish
Billy Crudup as William
Annette Bening as Dorothea
720p 1080p
862.73 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S 193 / 746
1.8 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 59 min
P/S 124 / 576

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Paul Allaer 9 / 10

Terrific ensemble cast, with career performance by Annette Bening

"20th Century Women" (2016 release; 118 min.) brings the story of Dorothea, a divorced woman in her mid-50s, and her 15 yr. old son Jamie. As the movie opens, we are reminded it is "Santa Barbara, 1979", and Dorothea's car is engulfed in flames while she and Jamie were grocery shopping. When they finally get home, we also get to know Abbie, a 24 yr. old orange-haired photographer, and William, a Mr. fix-it-all, who both are renting rooms at Dorothea's house. Then there is Julie, the 17 yr. old who hangs out at the house for no apparent reason. When Dorothea feels she cannot handle the unruly(?) Jamie by herself, she enlists the help of Abbie and Julie. At this point we're 15 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the long-awaited new movie from writer-director Mike Mills, who last surprised us with the outstanding "Beginners" (now already 6+ years ago). Here he brings a character study of a group of 5 people in the late 70s. This movie immediately connected with me, as I saw pieces of myself in "young" people: Abbie (Born 1955), Julie (born 1962) and Jamie (born 1964). I was born in 1960. The movie features an all-star ensemble cast, with an almost unrecognizable Great Gerwig as Abbie (and on the heels of another outstanding role in the recent "Jackie"), Elle Fanning in perhaps her best role to date as Julie, Billy Crudup as William, and newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann as Jamie. Surely we have not seen the last of him. But the biggest applause must go to Annette Bening, who brings perhaps the finest performance of her career as the well-intended but at times confused, sad and/or lonely Dorothea. Mills brings us these characters in rich detail and nuance, much to the viewing public's delight. Ever wonder what a "cool cigarette walk" is like? You'll find out in the movie. Music plays a ventral role in the movie. There is a fine original score (mostly electronic) by Roger Neill, but even better are the song placements (Talking Head, Black Flag, David Bowie, the Clash, and many others).

"20th Century Women" premiered to great acclaim at the New York Film Festival last Fall. The movie opened wide this weekend and I couldn't wait to see it. The Friday evening screening where I saw this at was attended nicely although by no means close to a sell-out. Doesn't matter. This is one of the finer movies of the year, for me anyway. If you like a richly-developed character study with an all-star ensemble cast, you cannot go wrong with this, be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray. "20th Century Women" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Reviewed by rockman182 7 / 10

Bening should be nominated in one of the best recent films.

Elle Fanning uggh yes. Okay, now that that's out of the way lets get to this film. This seemed like an unconventional coming of age film and that is basically what this was. Its not a mindblowingly amazing film and has some flaws. However, what I thought was a flaw may have worked for another viewer. What I can say though, is that the film left a better impression on me than I thought it would.

The performances of this film are great, particularly that of Greta Gerwig and Annette Bening. Gerwig is such a real character who is pained but absolutely does what she wants to do in life. She has a hard time finding love but her very open nature makes her identifiable. Bening is tremendous in the best role I've seen from her. She's an easygoing mother who is worried about her son and how he deals with life. Remarkably cool but nuanced. Also, Elle Fanning good lord I love her. Okay, I had to get that out of my system again. All of the characters have substantial depth and you do not leave the film feeling like a character's story was underdeveloped. The main core of characters are all in close proximity with each other and through their interactions you get to see their turmoils, struggles, and comfortable nature with each other.

The stories of the characters of the film are at times told by themselves and they seem to be telling the story from a future time, where they have experienced the entirety of their lives. I liked this technique of expansive storytelling. However, there are other things in the film that don't work as well. The slideshow of images of the culture of the 70's seemed gimmicky and didn't exactly add to the film's narrative. It seemed like an attempt to be able to grab viewers but wasn't exactly necessary. There are also times where the scenes have a "psychedelic effect" where the car races off in the highway in a dreamy haze, full with the colors of the rainbow emanating from the car. Again, I thought this was quite gimmicky and trying to harden the fact that this film was supposed to be set in the 70s.

I think one of the things that worked with the film was its humor. There is a lot of it, and while its not always subtle and funny a good amount of it works to make you chuckle or really laugh. Its not something I was expecting but is definitely something that made the film more memorable. There are some scenes that really, really work and help you really want to live in the frame of the characters. The film really focuses on women at the time and a teenage boy trying to navigate in a sea of women in his life. While its not always accurate about men, I think its doing a pleasant job of trying to connect the two while showing some of the plights experienced when men and women try to understand each other. What you get here is a well acted, humorous films that works to entertain.

7/10

Reviewed by MisterWhiplash 8 / 10

Life in fast motion

20th Century Women isn't about giving us some epic look at a group of friends or a family, but it is about the passage of time with people who are warm and caring and in a genuine way. Mike Mills isn't a saccharine filmmaker, but he also doesn't shy away from sentiment - I always have to point out this is separate from sentimentality - and the feeling that I came away with from the comedy 20th Century Women is this warmth from all of the characters, and this feeling that I know these people, whether I did or didn't (and I actually did in the sense that, at times, the mother and son were me and my mom for a short period of my teenage years, so there's an authenticity just there to me).

There's so much empathy for everyone here that it adds to the authenticity of the emotions, even for Greta Gerwig's Abbie who is, in essence, another 'Greta Gerwig' character like I've seen, or think I've seen, in other movies (her quirky wisdom seems akin to last year's Mistress America at least). While she is my least favorite person in this movie, she's given a history and many moments, surrounding one of those terrible things that happens to people and there's not much to be done about it, or could've, it's out of the hands of anything *to* be done. There's so much work done on the characters here by Mills, getting us to like them despite all of their flaws or those moments where they don't act with logic or sense, that it doesn't matter that there isn't too much of a story. This is the story of these characters in a short span of time while also, as if looking on from some other, ethereal plane, about what this time meant in the context of what came before 1979, and what was to come.

Among the actors here, Lucas Jade Zumann is the breakout star as the 15 year old Jamie, but I was so taken with Benning and Fanning as the 50-ish, "she was in the depression" as she's described mother and the 2 years older than Jamie but that matters so much pleutonic friend respectively. I wonder if the film would've worked with any other actors in the roles, but really I can't imagine anyone else. Every time Bening's on screen she gives Dorothea this feeling of 'well... I guess this is happening now, what do I do about it, I'm not sure', and while she can get angry or concerned she's never one to go too over the top - this is the anti-Fences in that regard of being about a kid scarred by a parent - she does care about what happens to her son, with the "inciting incident" in screen writing terms being him almost dying from doing one of those dumb-s*** things teenagers do on a dare. It's a unique and subtle performance, filled with a sense of... questioning, uncertainty, which is harder to pull off than it looks.

Fanning, meanwhile, is also having to underplay, which is good to see. This is an impressive year for her between this, Live by Night (which she was the best part of) and the Neon Demon, and she's different in all of them. I want to say I like the work she does here the most even as (or because) it's the least likable one among the bunch (and keep in mind she's a born-again Christian in the South in LbN). Mills's writing provides Fanning a great deal to make Julie come alive, but I found her not saying things, the way she shows Jamie how to hold a cigarette, when she is saying little, and then when she is backed into doing something that she should want to do but doesn't go for - going past being 'just friends' with Jamie in the last third - how she responds is devastating. It's like, 'no, don't act this way', as opposed to simply looking at her as a "B"-word, which is how a hackier writer could've gone with it.

Oh, and I must reiterate this is a comedy, and it's funny as hell. There's certainly some dramatic stretches, but Mills mines a lot of humor out of generational splits - Bening's face as she hears early Black Flag, and then trying to "move" to it with Billy Crudup, is one of the funniest things this year - and it's a tricky balance that Mills finds between making the feminism (yes, actual literature and quotes spoken in voice-over from essays) serious AND humorous. We don't doubt that the feminism of the characters is pure, but there's also that question that's posed: how much is really appropriate, or can be legitimately understood, by 15 year old who barely knows who he is in this world?

And on top of this Mills is having fun and some daring as a filmmaker, using psychedelic colors to show cars driving at times, and going not for the slow-motion but fast-motion speed, but not for comedy - the aesthetic point matches up with what the movie's about: life moves too fast, and we have to try and keep up with it best as we can and grow with things and become better people as everything moves too quickly. If it's ultimately too episodic to be anything really great or up to be there with the very best this year, I'd still tell anyone who likes smart character independent(ish) movies centered on teenagers and adults to see it immediately; it has a good place alongside The Squid and the Whale and, to a less taboo extent, Diary of a Teenage Girl.

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