Movie Review: 20TH CENTURY WOMEN - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Terry's Take

Movie Review: 20TH CENTURY WOMEN

     Actress Annette Benning did not get an Academy Award nomination for her performance in the new film called 20TH CENTURY WOMEN.

      20TH CENTURY WOMEN is a heartfelt, really satisfying film about an unique single mother who’s trying hard to raise her 15 year old son.  

       The film is based on the memories of the director’s own mother, an unconventional woman that Annette Benning brings to life with a performance that’s honest, vulnerable, and very real. She should have been nominated for Best Actress.

Dorothea (narrating): When you were born I told you life was very big and unknown. There were animals and cities, and music. You’d fall in love,have passions, have meaning, but now it’s 1979 and nothing means anything and I know you less every day. 

Jamie: You just feel guilty because it’s just me and you.

Dorothea: You don’t know what I’m feeling.

      Benning plays Dorothea, a single mom in her mid 50’s. Jamie is well acted by newcomer, Lucas Jade Zumann. 

Dorothea: I think maybe you guys can help me with Jamie. How do you be a good man? What does that even mean nowadays?

Julie: Don’t you need a man to raise a man?

Dorothea: No, I don’t think so. I think you’re what’s gonna work for him. 

       Elle Fanning is Jamie’s precocious older friend, Julie. He’s in love with Julie but she won’t have sex with him.

Julie: Your mom asked me to like help raise you.

Jamie: (sighs) Yeah, I know.

        Greta Gerwig plays Abbie, a punk photographer, who lives in their house.

Abbie: Is having Jamie, the biggest thing that ever happened to you?

Dorothea: I guess so.

      Another housemate is Billy Crudup as William, a handyman.

      Although there is a clear storyline, much of this sweet movie consists of people talking honestly with each other, sometimes with real insight and other times with a complete lack of understanding...much like real life.

Jamie: Do you think you’re happy? Like as happy as you thought you’d be when you were my age?

Dorothea: Seriously? You don’t ask people questions like that? 

Jamie: You’re my mom.

Dorothea: Especially your mom. Look, wondering if you’re happy is a great shortcut to being depressed.

Dorothea: Listen, sweetie; I don’t know if we ever figure our lives out. And the people who help you, they might not be who you thought or wanted. They might just be the people who show up.       

     Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.      thunter@hawaiinewsnow.com

       

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