By Brian Brooks | Indiewire March 8, 2011 at 5:57AM
Mike Mills' "Beginners" will open the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival April 21 at the historic Castro Theatre. Mike Mills and Ewan McGregor are expected to attend and participate in a post-screening Q&A.
Written and directed by Mike Mills ("Thumbsucker"), the comedy/drama explores the hilarity, confusion and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver (McGregor). Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna (Mélanie Laurent, "Inglourious Basterds") only months after his father Hal (Christopher Plummer) has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who, following 44 years of marriage, came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal's new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son far closer than ever before. Now Oliver endeavors to love Anna with all the bravery, humor and hope that his father taught him.
"Beginners has a playfully inventive sense of style, grounded by the film's emotional honesty," commented Rachel Rosen, director of programming of the San Francisco Film Society in a statement. "This charming and humane glimpse into the thorny nature of contemporary relationships is a fantastic way to launch the International's 15-day cinematic exploration of contemporary global society."
In related news, SFIFF unveiled selections from its New Directors Feature Competition and the Golden Gate Awards Documentary Feature Competition last week.