¹ Beginners is an emotionally honest story about love and family. Writer/director Mike Mills uses inventively creative narrative functions to tell a semi-autobiographical story. Christopher Plummer delivers a powerful performance as Ewan McGregor's dying father, who comes out as gay in his seventies, shortly after the passing of his wife. The father/son relationship is all sorts of tearjerking.
² Elizabeth Olsen delivers an out-of-nowhere, chillingly low-key, breakout performance as a troubled, emotionally damaged young woman running away from her past and struggling to re-assimilate in Martha Marcy May Marlene. Newcomer Sean Durkin's controlled, patient direction sublimates expectations and delivers essentially a terrifying horror film experience without the violence.
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