I watched the movie Beginners the other night and it fucked my shit up. I sat and cried an hour after watching it. It struck so many chords with me that I don't even know where to begin. Ewan McGregor plays a man named Oliver who is recently dealing with the loss of his father. His parents were married until his mother died. His father, played by Christopher Plummer, decides to come out and begin his life again. It runs back in forth through time- the current situation of Oliver taking care of his father's dog, dealing with his death and falling in love again despite his relationships never working out.
There were so many things that I identified with- starting a dating life after your prime, not ever having relationships work, being in a relationship and not being happy. I think the most heart-breaking scene for me was of Oliver as a child seeing his mother walk around the house depressed. She's in a loveless marriage and an engaging mother that tries to hide it. But, as explained by Melanie Laurent's character, Anna, your face show a normal expression, but others can read your true emotions. It made me think of Viggo. I think of how many times he saw me crying or depressed over the past few years. I always tried to hide it, but it always surfaced. Eventually, he became rather nonchalant about my tears. "Are you crying again, Mom?". It's rough to have your child see you so vulnerable. You're their protector. I cried a lot when I split with his dad and cried even more when I split with Patrick. At times, I considered suicide. Viggo was the only thing that kept me going. To visually see how that looks in a movie killed me.
I, of course, identified with Oliver's father starting over late in life. Granted, he's much older than me, but I still know what it's like. Dating isn't an easy world to re-enter. He finds love only to find that it's not exclusive. (Very reminiscent of me and NBF and him wanting an "open" relationship).
Meanwhile, in the present, Oliver falls in love with Anna. She's an actress who never stays in one place due to work. He's a guy who always leaves his relationships. They're trying to make something out of what they have. Oliver's personality reminded me of myself- caring, kind of nerdy, wanting to give his heart but so afraid. The things we've done to ourselves and the things others have done change us and screw us up. If you touch a hot stove, you learn to never do it again. Instinctively, we do the same with relationships. Once bitten, twice shy, right? If you've been emotionally mauled like you're Grizzly Man, then, it's not so easy to let go of shit. You go into these emotionally, self-imposed exiles, keeping your heart safe. Oliver and Anna are used to being alone. There's serious trepidation about being together. It's easier to walk away sometimes.
I can't express how much I loved this movie. Mike Mills did a stupendous job. You'll laugh and cry and think about a lot of things.