The life of a man who came out of the closet at the age of 74 and the son who accepts and loves him is the premise of the new film Beginners.
The father, played by Christopher Plummer, was married for many years, and after his wife passes away, announces to his son that he is gay. He finds himself a much younger boyfriend, but unfortunately is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and sadly passes away.
We see this part of the movie in flashbacks and are also taken to present day where the son, Oliver, played by Ewan McGregor, is still coming to the terms with his father’s death. At the same time, he meets Anna (Melanie Laurent), a free-spirited actress he meets at a party. Oliver really loved and cared for his father, and accepted him when he came out of the closet, and also accepted his new gay lifestyle and his new boyfriend. In earlier flashbacks we also see the relationship between Oliver as a little boy and his mother (played by a very good Mary Page Keller). His mother knew about his father’s homosexuality and accepted it while they were married, but Oliver never figured it out. Back to present day, and Oliver finds himself falling in love with Anna, but every relationship he has been in has fallen apart.
While not a lot happens in this film, and the movie goes back and forth from flashbacks to earlier flashbacks to present day (a method that actually works), and it is the performances that will keep you watching this film. McGregor is very good as Oliver, the son in mourning and at the same time falling in love. Christopher Plummer is excellent (as expected) as Hal, Oliver's father. And Laurent is mesmerizing as the woman you know Oliver loves. Can he sustain the relationship with her and at the same time try to get over his father’s death?
This film is a love letter from the director to his father, who in real life came out of the closet in his older years. The message of this small film? Love means to accept someone, whether they are gay or straight.