20th Century Women is a comedy-drama directed and written by Mike Mills and stars Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann, Billy Crudup and Annette Bening. The film, which is partly based on Mills’ childhood, is set in Santa Barbara, California in 1979 and the story centres on Dorothea (Annette Bening) who enlists the help of Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and Julie (Elle Fanning) to raise her son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann).

My Knowledge and Expectation of 20th Century Women

My interest in 20th Century Women was sparked by a trailer I saw at my local cinema about a month ago and, at first glance, it seemed very unique and interesting. Additionally, this film has been well-received by critics with a lot of praise being given to Annette Bening’s performance.

Annette Bening and Lucas Jade Zumann in 20th Century Women

Indeed, some argue that she should have been nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars. Despite this perceived snub, 20th Century Women has been nominated for Best Original Screenplay at this year’s Oscars which made me even more curious about how this film would impact me.

My Thoughts on 20th Century Women

In the end, I found 20th Century Women to be a film that is very relaxing and that relaxation I felt was solely down to the pacing. Certainly, the effect that the film had on me was quite soothing thanks to the pacing which, to be honest, I did not expect going into it. Some may call 20th Century Women slow but once I became accustomed to the pacing, the film really shone for what it was which is a very good coming-of-age story.

Elle Fanning in 20th Century Women

For me, the characters were the best part of the film. They were genuinely likeable and felt like real people with depth. A lot of credit should go to director Mike Mills in the way he drew inspiration from his upbringing to create great characters for his film and the cast deserve praise for bringing them to life. Truly, Annette Bening is brilliant as the lead in 20th Century Women but the supporting cast around her are also fantastic and they gave the film a lot of heart.

There is also a good blend of humour and drama in 20th Century Women. Certain lines of dialogue and moments in the film are absolutely hilarious but the film also deals with serious issues and themes which you would expect such as parenthood, growing old, love and the struggles of adolescence. The blend of genres combine to make 20th Century Women a film that is worth your time if you let it wash over you and want a relaxing but deep, poignant experience.

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