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20th Century Women

Rated 14 Accompaniment ~ Runs 118 minutes

Dir.: Mike Mills, US

Elle Fanning, Alia Shawkat, Laura Wiggins, Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig

Academy Award nominee for Best Original Screenplay

“In writer-director Mike Mills' 20th Century Women, we learn in the most thoughtful and endearing ways imaginable that behind every neurotic filmmaker there are at least three fascinating women. The stand-in for Mills in this semi-autobiographical comedy-drama is Jamie, a 15-year-old kid growing up in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1979. It's the era of Jimmy Carter, women's liberation, the sexual revolution, bell-bottom pants and punk rock. For Jamie, it's a time to figure out his identity - a tough trick in a house full of women. First and foremost is Dorothea (Bening), Jamie's defiantly single mom, 55 and pursuing her own eccentrically intellectual path. Abbie, who rents a room upstairs and teaches Jamie about rock music, is 28 and is diagnosed with cervical cancer caused by her mother's taking DES while pregnant. Julie is 17 and longtime friends with Jamie, though recently his feelings for her have shifted to the carnal... Also living in the house is William, a handyman who is repairing Dorothea's rundown house. She hopes he will be a good male influence on Jamie, though she doesn't necessarily believe Jamie needs a man for that... The main focus of 20th Century Women is on Bening's Dorothea, as she balances her maternal love with the wonder of watching Jamie becoming his own person - a person she would like to talk to, adult-to-adult, if he weren't simultaneously trying to get out from under her motherly influence... Mills' script is shot through with gems, precisely worded and beautifully said by a talented ensemble. In 20th Century Women, he captures a singularity of possibility, before forces both external and internal weighed heavily on these joyously offbeat characters.” - Sean P. Means, The Salt lake Tribune



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October 22