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About the Movie
With 20th Century Women, acclaimed filmmaker Mike Mills (the Academy Award-winning Beginners) brings us a richly multilayered, funny, heart-stirring celebration of the complexities of women, family, time and the connections we search for our whole lives. It is a film that keeps redefining itself as it goes along, shifting with its characters as they navigate the pivotal summer of 1979. Set in Santa Barbara, the film follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son, Jamie (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann, in a breakout performance) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing -- via Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited punk artist living as a boarder in the Fields’ home, and Julie (Elle Fanning), a savvy and provocative teenage neighbor.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 196
- Fresh: 173
- Rotten: 23
- Average Rating: 7.8/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Annette Bening doesn't get as many leading roles as she should. Part of this may be the lack of roles for older women overall. Or, it may be that she holds out for interesting, dimensional characters.
Fresh: ...a rumination and an affirmation on the female lifeforce, and its evolution throughout the 20th century...
Fresh: 20th Century Women isn't a perfect film -- some of the changes in perspective are a little jarring and the resolution feels rushed. But Mills has a keen eye for observational detail and the world he creates feels authentic.
Fresh: Mills is clearly fond of all these characters, and is happy to dwell on their moments of happiness and sadness, all of which provide knowledge and worldly wisdom to the teenage boy whose life they will so profoundly affect.
A Slow Paced Homage to the [recent] past
Because there was a lot of sharing, the dialogue seemed endless, cerebral and therefore the movie seemed slow. However, the warmth between the characters was so convincing that I was compelled to follow along.
While the environment, politics & womens' pay hasn't gotten much better, I think the social consciousness has gotten better. And it's thanks to the women & men of this era for starting the dialogue. So for that, the movie is like an homage to their efforts.
20th Century Brilliance
Realized, beautful... evidently intimidating because it was the best movie out there last year. #overlooked Hands down the best actress performance of 2016. A nuacned film in such a touching, human way that you'd have to be dead for it to not move you. A scpript that such thought and artistry was put into the shaping of it; care. To me this movie was a gift that cinema can truly be, and I'm sincerly grateful to the director. Thank you Mike Mills. Thank you.
- 20th Century Women (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
- Various Artists