Friday, January 20, 2017
Movie Review: 20th Century Women
20th Century Women is a unique movie. That being said, it was a bit too slow for my liking, and also a little too "indie," so I never could fully enjoy it, even though it had its moments.
"It takes a village" is the motto that 20th Century Women's Dorothea (Annette Bening) abides by, and she's worried that her 15-year-old son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), won't have enough positive role models in his life. The year is 1979, and they live in a constantly-being-remodeled, ramshackle old house in California, with her tenants Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and William (Billy Crudup). Dorothea doesn't know that Jamie's best friend, Julie (Elle Fanning), is sleeping over each night too, though that's all Julie and Jamie are doing (nothing of the R-rated variety). Dorothea gave birth to Jamie when she was 40, which was considered "old," and she and her husband are divorced, so she wants Jamie to have more influences in his life; she asks Abbie, William, and Julie to help her "raise" Jamie.
I didn't know Greta Gerwig was in this film before I saw it, and for some reason I tend to dislike most of the movies she's in; she plays a good part here, but it's similar to many of her other roles (the oddball, 'quirky' character). Annette Bening shines here, though, and definitely steals the entire movie, although Crudup, Zumann, and Fanning are great in their roles as well.
Maybe see this movie. If you can stand the slow pacing, and tend to like indie movies, you may like this one. Both the movie and Bening received a Golden Globe nomination, but neither won (Emma Scone scooped that award up, for La La Land) so it will be interesting to see if it gets any Oscar nominations. I also expected this movie to be more of a comedy, and although there are some funny parts and one-liners, generally it was more of a "slice of life" type movie, about Jamie growing up in the '70s in California. If you're a fan of zany movies, and can stand slow pacing, this might interest you; if not, I'd save it for a rental or just skip it altogether.
20th Century Women is in theaters today, January 20th, and is rated R with a runtime of 118 minutes. 2.5 stars out of 5.