Written by / 1/07/2012 / No comments / , , , ,

BEGINNERS

title: BEGINNERS
year: 2011
cast: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer
rating: **

If Gus Van Sant directed Cameron Crowe’s SINGLES, you’d have BEGINNERS, or pieces of it: like whenever Ewan McGregor, as a brooding thirty-eight year old single artist whose dying father comes out of the closet, contemplates life: making up most of the screen time with an intoxicating art-house rhythm and a bouquet of devises (other than narration) to tell what the main character’s feeling… using photographs, graffiti, or a Jack Russell Terrier’s subtitles… but the ponderous navel-gazing gets tiresome. And while Christopher Plummer turns in a good performance as the dying man embracing his new gay lifestyle (although his own personal situation often branches off into a distracting propaganda), and Ewan McGregor maintains a dependable subtlety taking on a new horizon… consisting of a relationship with an artsy French girl more troubled than he is… they’re not interesting enough characters to make up for a nonexistent plot, which, being so obviously intentional by director Mike Ness, makes sense in its own unique fashion. It's just too bad the characters are too proverbially dressed up to be genuinely fleshed out, making for a visual pleasing but ultimately vacant experience. And yet, as vacant experiences go, this one has a heart beating, somewhere...
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