365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 109
Release Year: 2011
Best Supporting Actor
THE PLOT THUS FAR
A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“Beginners” has three time periods that are presented in overlapping form to an effective end. One period shows us Oliver (Ewan McGregor) as a young kid interacting with his mother (Mary Page Keller). Another period shows Oliver’s father Hal (Christopher Plummer) confessing to him that he is gay. The third period has Oliver trying to forge a relationship with Anna (Melanie Laurent) whom he met at a costume party.
While that may sound like a simple set-up, I assure you that the complications created by these characters is both realistic and head-spinning. It turns out Hal knew he was gay prior to marrying Oliver’s mother, but claims she promised to “fix” him. Once he proclaims his gayness, Hal jumps in with both feet to all causes gay. He thoroughly enjoys himself and even meets a new, younger lover. And just when he admits to joy, inoperable cancer is discovered in Hal’s lungs. This begins the second major secret of his life.
The Blu-Ray comes with a commentary, featurettes and the usual Universal BD-Live additions. It’s a pretty loaded disc for a recent Focus release, but the film has a very defined audience. However, don’t let that put you off from checking it out. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track was subtle, while the 1080p transfer never raised above a certain level. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!