“Now it’s 1979, and nothing means anything, and I know you less every day.”
Filmmaking has often touched on the topic of discovering that your parents are indeed just people, flawed and chock full of failed and altered dreams of their own, but what’s hit upon less often is the sensation of being a parent and realizing that you don’t know your kid. And that you’re not even sure if you like them at the moment.
Mike Mills’ latest film 20th Century Women addresses these concerns from the heart of one of modern cinema’s favorite moments in history: California in the late ’70s. An ode to Mills’ mother, the film follows Annette Bening’s Dorothea, as she attempts to understand and raise her son (Lucas Jade Zumann) with the help of his best friend (Elle Fanning) and her current lodger (Greta Gerwig), on her own and amid the changing tides of the decades.
20th Century Women has already emerged as a favorite in the late festival year: our own Nico Lang caught the film at last month’s New York Film Festival and found that “…the film is beautifully perceptive and, at times, deeply poignant. Mills has created the kind of comedy in which you laugh with recognition because its dilemmas feel so familiar. 20th Century Women is filled with the kinds of people you know very well or ones you would like to know — complex and warm, funny and maybe a little bit sad. By the time the movie has reached its bittersweet, tearful conclusion, you’ll want to hug the person who made it.”
Check out the film’s latest trailer, and catch 20th Century Women in theaters starting with its limited release on Christmas Day.