I almost gave up on this movie after the first, gruelling for me, 20 minutes. I went back to it a day later, and persevered. I'm still not sure it was worth almost an hour and a half of my life (I skipped bits and pieces everywhere. It is, I guess, a "Chick Film," and I mean this in the most neutral way. I think back to my own teenage years, which were in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and wonder how I would have reacted to having a single mother try to turn some of her child-rearing responsibilities to three unrelated individuals: a highly promiscuous teenage neighbour girl; a troubled artist; and a well-meaning Jack-of-all-trades. I will say that Annette Bening is a terrific actress. Her facial expressions convey so much of what she is thinking and feeling. By contrast, Elle Fanning, whose expression (sulky, angst-ridden) never seems to vary. Needless to say, Bening's face can only go so far.
The characters in this movie were fully developed,with flaws and all, yet there was sympathy in to how they lived. It wasn't necessarily aimless, they might not be certain what they wanted out of life. Watching Mike Mills in the extras explain that the characters came from people he knew made sense. The choice of 1979 and how he showed us this seminal point in time with photographs of punks, music, and especially Jimmy Carter's "Crisis of Confidence" speech speaks particularly to our contemporary world. That only Dorothea seemed to "get it" was really a sign of the times. They made fun of Carter telling us to turn down the lights and put on a sweater. And where are we now?
Agree with films reviewers who described this film (and the characters' lives) as aimless and messy.
Trailer didn't entice me, film lived up to the trailer. Couldn't get into it.
I can attest to the other comments, this movie is slow moving; and Bening's performance is good. Women over the age of 45 years may find some limited value in reminiscing about the social context they grew up in; but if this doesn't appeal, I'd recommend skipping this one.
Boring, slow, and more than a bit pretentious. Benning’s acting is fine but even she cannot save this snore fest.
I loved this film. The characters are flawed and fragile, but each one is still capable of insight and courage. Bening is a marvel. So much is demanded of her character, and she pulls it off with grace and humour. Some commentors here have complained that the story is slow and lacks a dramatic spike and final resolution. I disagree: I had a vague feeling of dread throughout the movie, because - just like all the film's characters - I was very worried about thirteen year old Jamie whenever he left home. The film plays out like a series of memories, probably Jamie's, and like memories, it has a faintly golden glow. In the way that the movie treats autobiography, it seems more European (think Fellini) than American - and that's a good thing!
Interesting characters and depiction of that time. Annette Bening was good. The beginning half was sad but it got lighter in the second half.
liked the feminism....... hated the story line !!!!!!!
Tries hard to be profound but is basically just garbage.
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