20th Century Women

20th Century Women

DVD - 2017
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The story of three women who explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s.
Publisher: Universal City, CA : Universal, [2017]
Branch Call Number: TWE
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (118 min.) : sound, colour ; 4 3/4 in
digital,optical,surround,Dolby digital 5.1,rda
video file,DVD video,region 1,rda
Alternative Title: Twentieth century women

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t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Sep 19, 2018

This drama/comedy film is actually much better than I was expecting, and manages to tell the stories of multiple different types of women in the 20th century. Set in 1979 California, Dorothea is a middle-aged mother trying to raise her son Jamie on her own in the best way possible. She seeks the help of her free-spirited tenant and an angsty neighborhood teenage girl to teach her son how to be a man in times that are ever so changing and foreign. I thought that the acting was particularly impressive and that each of the actors perfectly fit into their roles. It was the right balance of drama and comedy which made it easy to follow along. I would rate this movie 4.5/5 stars and recommend it to anyone who likes period-pieces.
- @The_Reviewer of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

j
jimg2000
Jul 28, 2018

It was a progressive version of it takes a village to raise a teen boy in mellow Santa Barbara. Witty script and admirable acting jobs, particularly Bening (60 yr. old in real life) who played the 55 year old mother without any makeup throughout ... compare with Laurie Metcalf (63 yr. old in real life) played the mom in "Lady Bird." Greta Gerwig were involved in both women-centric film; a tenant in "20th Century Women" and the writer/director of Lady Bird.

g
gingin1972
Jul 22, 2018

Boring crap!

I almost gave up on this movie after the first, gruelling for me, 20 minutes. I went back to it a day later, and persevered. I'm still not sure it was worth almost an hour and a half of my life (I skipped bits and pieces everywhere. It is, I guess, a "Chick Film," and I mean this in the most neutral way. I think back to my own teenage years, which were in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and wonder how I would have reacted to having a single mother try to turn some of her child-rearing responsibilities to three unrelated individuals: a highly promiscuous teenage neighbour girl; a troubled artist; and a well-meaning Jack-of-all-trades. I will say that Annette Bening is a terrific actress. Her facial expressions convey so much of what she is thinking and feeling. By contrast, Elle Fanning, whose expression (sulky, angst-ridden) never seems to vary. Needless to say, Bening's face can only go so far.

m
Mooseum
Jun 18, 2018

The characters in this movie were fully developed,with flaws and all, yet there was sympathy in to how they lived. It wasn't necessarily aimless, they might not be certain what they wanted out of life. Watching Mike Mills in the extras explain that the characters came from people he knew made sense. The choice of 1979 and how he showed us this seminal point in time with photographs of punks, music, and especially Jimmy Carter's "Crisis of Confidence" speech speaks particularly to our contemporary world. That only Dorothea seemed to "get it" was really a sign of the times. They made fun of Carter telling us to turn down the lights and put on a sweater. And where are we now?

j
Jane_Sm
May 27, 2018

Agree with films reviewers who described this film (and the characters' lives) as aimless and messy.

w
wildct2003
Mar 20, 2018

Trailer didn't entice me, film lived up to the trailer. Couldn't get into it.

n
No_Stalkers4Me
Jan 14, 2018

I can attest to the other comments, this movie is slow moving; and Bening's performance is good. Women over the age of 45 years may find some limited value in reminiscing about the social context they grew up in; but if this doesn't appeal, I'd recommend skipping this one.

Boring, slow, and more than a bit pretentious. Benning’s acting is fine but even she cannot save this snore fest.

l
LEL
Nov 29, 2017

I loved this film. The characters are flawed and fragile, but each one is still capable of insight and courage. Bening is a marvel. So much is demanded of her character, and she pulls it off with grace and humour. Some commentors here have complained that the story is slow and lacks a dramatic spike and final resolution. I disagree: I had a vague feeling of dread throughout the movie, because - just like all the film's characters - I was very worried about thirteen year old Jamie whenever he left home. The film plays out like a series of memories, probably Jamie's, and like memories, it has a faintly golden glow. In the way that the movie treats autobiography, it seems more European (think Fellini) than American - and that's a good thing!

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j
jimg2000
Jul 28, 2018

30 good quotes posted in IMDb already, thanks to the contributors. Here are two additional ones:

She was raised in the Depression, everyone helped raise everyone. You know, the whole neighborhood raised the kids.
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Guys aren't supposed look like they're thinking about what they look like.

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