When SFF announced that Mike Mills’ Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer and the absolutely angelic Melanie Laurent, would be the Festival’s closing film, many friends and colleagues read my ecstasy with a bit of skepticism.
“Who the hell is Mike Mills?” they asked.
Well, my friends, he is a simple genius, basically.
His film Thumbsucker won all types of awards and contains one of the most beautiful soundtracks of any movie, largely done by Elliot Smith, who stabbed himself in the heart twice while Mills was in post-production on the film. The soundtrack includes Smith’s cover of “Trouble” by Cat Stevens, one of the rare cover songs that are actually better than the original, up there with Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Here is the trailer for Beginners. I’ll be writing quite often about Mills’ work in the coming weeks and am anxiously awaiting the chance to speak with both him and Plummer.
“People like us, half of them believe things will never work out. The other half believe in magic.” Melanie Laurent, Beginners