Beginners

Christopher-Plummer-s-Road-to-the-Oscar

 

Beginners is a 2010 drama film, written and directed by Mike Mills. It tells the story of Oliver (Ewan McGregor), a man trying to deal with two stunning revelations from his 75 year-old father Hal (Christopher Plummer): that he is gay and gravely ill.
The film is based on the true-life coming out of Mills’ father at the age of 75, five years before his death.
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Beginners premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, where the Los Angeles Times heralded it as a “heady, heartfelt film” with a cast who has “a strong sense of responsibility to their real-world counterparts”.Christopher Plummer received numerous accolades, including the 2011 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance.

The film is structured as a series of interconnected flashbacks. Following the death of his father Hal, Oliver reflects on their relationship following the death of Oliver’s mother, Georgia. Shortly after her death, Hal came out to his son and began exploring life as an openly gay man. He becomes active inthe gay community, finds love and becomes more honest with himself and with his son. As a result, Oliver and Hal become closer during this time. Shortly after Hal’s death, Oliver meets Anna, a French actress, at a party. Inspired by his father’s attitude towards the end of his life and their relationship, Oliver decides to pursue a romance with her.
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It’s 2003. Thirty-eight year old graphic artist Oliver Fields has just lost his father Hal Fields to cancer, after Oliver’s mother Georgia Fields passed away five years earlier. Oliver is naturally a sullen man due to his growing up relationship with his parents (his mother who had a unique view on life) and watching his parents’ cordial but somewhat distant relationship with each other, but is more so now because of his personal family loss. Oliver embarks on a relationship with Anna, a French actress. Oliver is hoping that his re-energized relationship with Hal following Georgia’s death and Hal’s new outlook on life during that time will show Oliver how to act in a loving relationship. After Georgia’s death, Hal came out of the closet and began to live with a joie de vivre that did not exist before, which included an open relationship with a much younger man named Andy. Oliver’s relationship with Anna has other obstacles, including Anna’s own vagabond lifestyle and Oliver needing to take care of who was originally Hal’s very needy Jack Russell terrier, Arthur.
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Christopher Plummer may be the oldest Oscar winner ever, but he’s not showing any signs of slowing down.
LOS ANGELES — Christopher Plummer may be the oldest Oscar winner ever, but he’s not showing any signs of slowing down.
The 82-year-old came on stage Sunday night to accept his best supporting actor award and stared at the statuette before remarking on how great it looked.
“You’re only two years older than me darling, where have you been all of my life?” Plummer asked.
At birth, he joked, “I was already rehearsing my academy acceptance speech, but it was so long ago mercifully for you I’ve forgotten it.”
The humor and heartfelt one he delivered Sunday night wasn’t that original version, he said, but, “I haven’t forgotten who to thank.
Backstage, Plummer told reporters of the recognition he’s received recently, “It’s sort of a renewal, it has recharged me,” he said. “I hope I can do it for another 10 years at least.
Plummer has enjoyed a vibrant career that has included his first two Oscar nominations in the past three years. Wearing a navy velvet tuxedo, Plummer thanked fellow nominees, co-stars and his wife, who he said “deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for coming to my rescue every day of my life.”
Plummer won for his role in “Beginners” as Hal Fields, a museum director who becomes openly gay after his wife of 44 years dies. His loving, final relationship becomes an inspiration for his son, who struggles with his father’s death and how to find intimacy in a new relationship.
Over more than 50 years in the industry, Plummer has enjoyed varied roles ranging from Captain Von Trapp in the “The Sound of Music” to the voice of the villain in 2009’s “Up.” He was nominated for his portrayal of Leo Tolstoy in “The Last Station” three years ago.
Plummer beat out fellow nominees Kenneth Branagh, Jonah Hill, Nick Nolte and fellow octogenarian Max von Sydow.
He displaces George Burns, who in 1976 was the oldest nominee to win a supporting actor Oscar at age 80. Jessica Tandy, who won for “Driving Miss Daisy” was the oldest winner before Sunday’s show.
Plummer’s age was a joke for host Billy Crystal, who told the audience, “He may be walking up on stage tonight because apparently he wanders off.”
In the end, Plummer did end up onstage and it wasn’t a mistake at all. The audience showered him with applause and Plummer’s lifelong dream was fulfilled.
Not that he’s going to stop acting anytime soon. “I’m going to drop dead wherever I am, whether it’s onstage or on a set,” Plummer said after his win.
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