About – The story of a teenage boy, his mother and two other women that try and help raise him among the love and freedom of Southern California of 1979.
20th Century Women pin-points the exact differences between women in the 20th century. The mother of the boy, Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening). A chain smoking, free spirited single mum that doesn’t understand her own son. A younger woman early twenties, Abigail ‘Abbie’ Porter (Greta Gerwig) a feminist and punk, that can’t see the punk era ending but having so much hatred towards people that don’t understand her. Lastly, Julie (Elle Fanning) a teenager much older than the boy, is confused trying to find her way in the world, through her own mother being a therapist and having no love from her parents meaning she’s find it elsewhere.
All these women try and help Jamie (Lucas Zumann) the boy, be grown up and even respect women from three totally different women within the house.
Everyone lives in this big estate house, Jamie and his mother own the house and have spare rooms to offer. They open the door to Abbie and William (Billy Crudup) who help round the house and pay rent. Julie on the other hand comes over for the comfort from Jamie and Dorothea.
By having such a simple background to each character, even by not watching the film you can come to the realisation that even 40 years on, this type of behaviour within a household still happens. The true class of realism within 20th Century Women is something that can’t be changed. A boy who is going through puberty surrounded by three very independent and strong women, each having their own skills in trying to support and help Jamie. 40 years on and we still see these women in the 21st century.
Mike Mills the director and writer, has done a fantastic job, it’s well scripted and directed. We can see the passion and calmness within the narrative that Mike has, due to the films humbleness dramatism between characters. Mike has only directed three feature films that’s including 20th Century Women, I’m looking forward to his next project because if its anything like this then for us drama lovers were in for a treat.
As you can imagine it is a basic narrative, cutting the film up between three women and a boy and then occasionally a man, which appears to break-up the bombardment of information from the women, it’s simple. However, the content of the film is fascinating which keeps us gripped right up until the end. By this point, you don’t want the film to end. We are so transfixed on each character, we are wanting to see what happens individually. By having this response, it’s a surprise and unexpectedly brilliantly put together.
All five characters and performances were something else, the realistic acting that most actors don’t have any more makes this film that more real. Every performance brought something new and refreshing to the screen, by having that refreshment within a film like this really puts us at ease, like we are watching someone personally close to us. Without a doubt, this film will never get boring or age it will always stay true to what it represents, single parent, teenagers and youth culture.