Conversation around The Playlist watercooler just this week goes, “you know who’s awesome and needs to make another film? Director Mike Mills.” “Yep, ‘Beginners’ rules.” Mills has a wonderful tenderness and comedic sensitivity in all his works and we need more of his really unique and originally wistful pictures. Cue Annapurna Pictures to the rescue who have literally been going through a list of great directors in recent years and going, “Hmm, who’s awesome and hasn’t made a movie lately?” And god bless them for it.
They’ll be producing Mills’ upcoming film called “20th Century Women” and production will begin later this year in Southern California, according to a just-delivered press release. The synopsis: Set in the wonderfully disruptive days of punk’s arrival to suburban America, Jimmy Carter’s last summer in office and the oil and fiscal crises of the late 70’s, the story is about three very different women teaching a boy what men are, what women are, about love and freedom and finding your own form of sanity in Santa Barbara 1979. When the boy’s mother takes in a male border, his world view is further shaken by the man’s desire to understand and be loved by these seemingly unknowable women.
Casting for the film is currently underway, but no names have been mentioned yet. “The film is an ode to the women who raised me; my mom, my sisters, the girls I was in love with or looked up to at school and in the punk rock scene where I really learned about the world,” Mills said in a statement. “These women were all so complicated and strong – all very funny, all fighting to find a way to be authentic, happy and free. All dealing with the complications of the new freedoms they were exploring.”
Extremely exciting stuff, and Mills is an incredibly underrated filmmaker. The announcement of a new film by the director is something to rejoice in. 2016? It can’t get here soon enough. Don’t be surprised if a really terrific cast signs on board.