20th Century Women
Director: Mike Mills
Cast: Annette Bening, Greta Gerwin, Elle Fanning
Genre: Comedy Drama
Country of Origin: USA 2016 118 mins. (15)
Released by e One
Dorothea Field (Annette Bening), a free spirit, chain smoker, independent woman wonders what the hell will happen when Ronald Reagan takes over from Jimmy Carter. It's 1979 Santa Barbara, California, the sun shines, cultural and social change are in the air and Dorothea, a 55-year-old single mother has a 15-year old son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) to bring up and she confides 'I know him less each day.' They share their large house, in need of a bit of tender loving care with feminist, punk rock fan Abbey (Greta Gerwig), free-spirited, amateur photographer Julie (Elle Fanning) who Jamie's infatuated with and shares his bed but nothing more and handyman, nice guy William (Billy Crudup). Dorothea enlists Abbey and Julie to help raise Jamie - they'll teach him to be a good man.
A quirky, free-flowing, nostalgic, dazzling portrait of the times. The support cast are terrific but it's Annette Bening day and she's a wow. Sharply edited, funny with some great one-liners, flashbacks offer context as to how the guests finished up in the house and freedom and love mix.
Mike Mills has come up with a semi-autobiographical film that draws you in, makes you smile and you instinctively sit back and enjoy it. Do we ever figure our lives out?