20th Century Women (2016)

By Livia Peterson

It is difficult to depict the mother and son dynamic via the motion picture. The mainstream Hollywood tends to frequently travel the stereotypical route and everything appears to be detached. Just leave it to the A24 and Annapurna Pictures masterminds to produce a motion picture that connects the audience to their mother, friends, and significant other (anything but the stereotype).
Dorothea (the marvelous Annette Bening) recruits two close friends Abbie (the retro, sassy, and scene stealer Greta Gerwig) and Julie (the extremely restrained and laid back Elle Fanning) to nurture the son Jamie (the quietly brilliant Lucas Jade Zumann) in Southern California during the late 1970s.
Dorothea may resemble the Grandmother – attempting to be the independent progressive woman yet following the traditions of her era during another time period. Abbie is the feminist voice – rationalizing sex and music during the 1970s – and the character would attend the Women’s March if she existed today. Julie is complicated in terms of simultaneously echoing Dorothea and Abbie and frequently unnecessary. Jamie remains in the middle – coming to terms with the adulthood – bickering “My mother was born in the Depression.”
“20th Century Women” politely examines the generation gap and the feminism. Mike Mills perfectly unifies the characters to allow the resonance, regardless the year you were born. The generation gap will always exist yet discover a few common notions that may result agreement. I grasped I am a feminist during the screening – advocating for women and their representation in film (thanks Abbie).
You must be able to tap into Dorothea’s perspective to connect to the eccentric narrative. It is pretty easy to accomplish due to the loving and sympathetic characters. I would’ve loved to hug Dorothea and Abbie several times via the screen. In simple terms, Mr. Mills understands how to depict fictionalized narratives that provide some slice of your life.
Regardless, “20th Century Women” is incredible – but you may not realize the fact until following the screening (sneaks up on you). A-

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