20th Century Women

20th Century Women ★★★★½

"Whatever you think your life is going to be like, just know, it's not gonna be anything like that."

20th Century Women, just like life, is a tapestry of emotions and experiences. It's a color stream of memory splashed across pivotal yet quiet moments in the lives of ordinary people. It's full of touching ideas and it tenderly embraces all aspects of its characters.

As emotionally draining as it can feel, I'm sure I'll revisit this again some day. It's such a richly textured portrait of a unique yet completely satisfying series of circumstances that bring together disparate individuals and it feels like a special treat to have been given a window into it all.

None of that would be nearly as effective if not for a stellar cast. Annette Benning, need I say more? Incredibly though, it was the young leads, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning, and Lucas Jaden Zumann that made the most resounding impression on me. Each is so compelling and gives such a nuanced turn that I'm sure the extent that I came to care for them can be largely attributed to that.

Women also happens to be one of the most gorgeously shot films I've seen in years. There are several wide shots that I would frame and put up on my walls throughout and each take makes every beat that much more beautiful. The period details are exquisite as well, giving this film an ironically timeless quality despite it's period-specificity.

Mike Mills is a fine director but it's his remarkable screenplay that blew me away the most. It's such a difficult feat to make coming of age tales feel genuine and Mills does just that. In his words, the world is a beautiful, frustrating, and fragile place. It's full of hopes, desires, mistakes, and above all else, love.

I don't recall the last film I watched that made me feel as much as 20th Century Women did. It's proof that movies can capture the essence of the human experience and speak to what it really means to be on this unpredictable journey. Above all else though, this reminded me to appreciate the moment I'm in. Who knows when it could all change so why not be present and thankful for it, flaws and all?

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