As far as entertainment goes in the Christmas season, there are few movies that feel as effortlessly graceful, funny, and beautiful as 20th Century Women, the third feature thus far from famed AIR colleague Mike Mills. It’s easily the best movie thus far from Mills, with an excellent soundtrack – one of maybe 10 movies to feature The Raincoats – and some absolutely stunning imagery from Mills and brilliant DP Sean Porter (Green Room, It Felt Like Love, Kumiko The Treasure Hunter).
More than either of these elements, however, 20th Century Women is a film powered by the studied, instinctual, and endlessly endearing performances at its core. Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, and Elle Fanning do some of the best work of their career here, which is saying something coming from the stars of The Grifters, Frances Ha, and Somewhere. The latest featurette for the movie, which you can see below, highlights these performances, as well as Lucas Jade Zumann and Billy Crudup’s remarkable work. It’s a nice tease for the emotional force of the film, but it also suggests a distinct problem in terms of award: How do you pick just one of these actors to receive praise for a film that deserves quite a bit more of that very thing?
Here’s the new featurette for 20th Century Women:
Here’s the 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 – 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.