Beginnersis a 2010 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Mike Mills . It tells the story of Oliver ( Ewan McGregor ), a man reflecting on the life and death of his father while trying to forge a new romantic relationship with a woman dealing with father issues of her own.
Beginnerspremiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival , whereThe Los Angeles Timesheralded it as a "heady, heartfelt film" with a cast who has "a strong sense of responsibility to their real-world counterparts".
The film is structured as a series of interconnected flashbacks . Following the death of his father Hal, Oliver reflects on his relationship with him following the death of Oliver's mother Georgia. Shortly after her death Hal came out as gay to his son and began exploring that aspect of his life. Hal finds a boyfriend, Andy, and surrounds himself with a circle of gay friends. Hal is then diagnosed with terminal cancer. Following an extended illness during which Oliver helps care for him, Hal dies.
Several months after Hal's death, Oliver meets Anna, a French actress, at a party and they begin a relationship. Oliver's unresolved emotions around his father's death and his parents' life together, along with Anna's conflicted feelings about her emotionally unstable father, initially interfere with their relationship but they resolve to stay together.