Santa Barbara, 1979. 15-year-old Jamie (young talent Lucas Jade Zumann) grows up with his divorced mother Dorothea in a large and stately yet decaying mansion where different tenants have also sought refuge. Dorothea is 55 and obviously from a different generation, but she does her best to understand her son. She gets help – also with his upbringing – from Abbie and Julie, two young women who play a formative role for the sensitive, clever Jamie.
Mike Mills drew on his own experience for this creatively designed, humorous and sensitive coming-of-age story, which is as much about the three women as it is about the adolescent Jamie. Just as Beginners (2010) was a film about his father (with a wonderful role for Christopher Plummer), 20th Century Women is an ode to his mother (a fantastic role for Annette Bening). The wonderful soundtrack is only one example of Mills’ great love for history and research. A dreamy journey through time, beautifully acted and emotionally charged.
Closing Film IFFR 2017.