We’re All Beginners

Beginners is a very persuasive film, largely due to nuanced performances—and that includes the charming Jack Russell terrier who plays Arthur, a four-legged grief counselor (via subtitles).Unlikely as it sounds, director Mike Mills weaves all of these emotional storylines together—and anthropomorphizes a canine—without stumbling into sentimentality or emotional manipulation.It feels true, lived-in, every single moment. … [Read more...]

Beginners (2010)

This review was originally published at Good Letters, a blog hosted by Image.-During a lecture last March, I spoke fondly of a friend whom I had recently lost to cancer. Halfway through the anecdote, I suddenly recognized his wife, the mother of his two young children, in the audience, listening in rapt attention. She was far from home, a surprise visitor. I almost choked. And I suddenly began weighing my words with much greater care. Had I represented her husband well?Loss makes … [Read more...]

Be Mindful: Beginners is Coming.

On Sunday, I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of shaking hands with filmmaker Mike Mills and actor Ewan McGregor, and sitting down with two other journalists (Sarah Fetters and Keith Simanton) to interview them about their new film Beginners, which also stars Christopher Plummer and Melanie Laurent.They were very good company, and I wish our 25 minutes had gone on for an hour. I had a lot of questions for them, because the film really inspired me. Beginners is a pleasant surprise. … [Read more...]


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