20th Century Women
Director: Mike Mills
Talent: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, Lucas Jade Zumann
Released: 10th February
It’s 1979 and Dorothea (Bening) is a gutsy single mother raising her 15-year-old son, Jamie (Zumann). Her tenants Abbie (Gerwig) and William (Crudup) interact more like a family and are enlisted to help raise Jamie, as is his teenage friend Julie (Fanning). 20th Century Women is as much about these characters as it is about Dorothea and Jamie. A balance is struck between detailing a character’s back-story enough to make us invested but with focus still being on what it’s like to be a teenage boy, to want to be a good person, and ideas about feminism, love, and ageing.
The fact these characters are introspective, purposeful and supportive of each other does not stop them surprising us and so prevents a predictable ending. Filled with quote-worthy insights on all things important in life, 20th Century Women is sure to resonate with anyone who is a woman or simply has been young.
Words – Sarah Taaffe-Maguire