A24 and Annapurna Pictures have unveiled the first trailer for Beginners writer/director Mike Mills’ long-awaited follow-up film 20th Century Women. The film takes place in 1979 Santa Barbara and stars Annette Bening as a single mother who enlists the help of two younger women in the help of raising her adolescent son—a free-spirited punk artist (Greta Gerwig) and a provocative teenage neighbor (Elle Fanning). The film is described as “a love letter to the people who raise us—and the times that form us,” and indeed this first trailer opens with a hopeful speech given by then-president Jimmy Carter that is met with cynicism.
The 2010 film Beginners was Mills’ second narrative feature film and was met with widespread acclaim as it chronicled the coming out of an older man in sad/funny fashion. That sad/funny tone seems to be present once again in this follow-up film, and just as Christopher Plummer was thrust into the Oscar race with Beginners, one can’t help but wonder if Bening is a serious contender here as well.
Awards aside, this looks like a delightful character drama that’ll make you mighty happy that the fall movie season has finally arrived. Check out the 20th Century Women trailer below. The film also stars Billy Crudup, Alia Shawkat, and Lucas Jade Zumann. 20th Century Women opens in theaters on December 25th.
Here’s the official synopsis for 20th Century Women:
With 20th Century Women, acclaimed filmmaker Mike Mills (the Academy Award®-winning Beginners) brings us a multilayered, funny, heart-stirring celebration of the complexities of women, family, time, and the connections we search for our whole lives.
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.
20th Century Women is a poignant love letter to the people who raise us—and the times that form us—as this makeshift family forges fragile connections that will mystify and inspire them through their lives.