Interview with Mike Mills, Writer/Director of Beginners

Mills borrows facts from his life to tell a fresh, original story

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Beginners is the story of a man (Ewan McGregor) attempting to navigate two rather shocking elements about his 75-year-old father (Christopher Plummer). First, that he has terminal cancer; second, his terminally ill father is gay and in a relationship with a much younger man. Hardly a laugh-out-loud funny plot line, and yet the film is more heartfelt comedy than melodrama, which a touching message of acceptance.

Mike Mills took quite a few facts from his life to write and direct Beginners, but in a letter to the actors, he told them that this is not true non-fiction by any means. Mike wanted this experience to be real for his cast and for the audience, so he asked the actors to take these facts from his life and absorb them into their bloodstreams and interpret them for themselves—expressing their roles according to their nature, not his. While that may sound heavy, the results are quirky, funny, sad, and endearing.

In this video, Dallas film critic and reporter Paul Salfen gets a sneak peak into the eclectic drama that has been Mike Mills's life. Starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic and Cosmo, Beginners is now playing in select theaters around the country. 

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