Director: Mike Mills Starring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann, Billy Crudup Running Time: 119 minutes
What does it mean to be a man? What does it take to become one? How do you ensure you are a good one?
These are questions at the heart of Mike Mills’ latest film, 20th Century Women. Now, you may notice a disconnect there between the title and the message. This movie is a lot more than your typical coming of age story for our young male protagonist, Jamie (Zumann). The film centres on an unconventional household in California in the late 70s, bustling with a gathered family of resilient women. This film moves more like an experience than a solid three act piece. We spend time with these characters and see what they’re up to, basically. The biggest story arc throughout is that single mother Dorothea (Bening) wants her son Jamie to learn what it is to be a man and so she enlists the help of her lodger Abbie (Gerwig) and Jamie’s friend Julie (Fanning). These modern women help him tackle and traverse what it means to be a man in the twentieth century. As you could guess, they all have different ideological beliefs about society, men and women.