Search

20th Century Women, review: ‘Bening, Gerwig and Fanning are really special’

PUBLISHED: 18:16 06 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:12 07 February 2017

21st Century Women. Picture: Entertainment One

21st Century Women. Picture: Entertainment One

Archant

20th Century Women is so truthful it’s as though you lived it yourself, but all this truth is delivered at a pretty slow pace

Almost every aspect of this coming of age, ensemble period piece is deeply impressive: the acting, the inventive but unshowy direction, its lightness of touch and depth of feeling. While watching I loved everything about it; other than it not having finished yet.

We’re in Santa Barbara in 1979. Single mum Dorothea (Annette Bening) is a non bohemian living a bohemian lifestyle and wondering how to raise her 15 year old son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) without a male influence.

She turns to the people closest to her to help out. Those would be her two tenants: an easy going handyman (Billy Crudup) who can’t quite get in synch with the hippy lifestyle and a photographer enthused by the emergent punk scene (Greta Gerwig). Also there is Julie (Elle Fanning), Jamie’s best friend but not girlfriend who sneaks in to share his bed but nothing else.

The film is funny and touching, but defiantly undramatic. A lovely Air-y synth score floats us through, inviting us to look for something bigger than a good story.

You imagine this must be a film of a memoir, but actually its seems to be a fictionalised version of the director’s upbringing.

20th Century Women is so truthful it’s as though you lived it yourself, but all this truth is delivered at a fearfully sluggish clip.

I was wowed by the film but when I sneaked a glance at my watch and saw that it was less than halfway through I let out a sigh.

But the acting is really special. As I write this I have no idea who has won/been nominated for the various women’s acting awards but I am sure that whoever it is won’t have been as good as the three here.

Rating: 3/5 stars

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Entertainment Stories

17:36

Michael-James Dent and Chris Jones of Homerton band The Dolce Vita talk about gigging locally and releasing music via cassette, ahead of their show on November 24

Wed, 10:29

Essential viewing at the Smithfield Meat Market, this play tells a harrowing tale of life after care

Tue, 15:41

Foxlow’s Clerkenwell branch in St John Street is offering a vegan menu during November. The Gazette is impressed.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Kathy Burke has directed the play starring Samuel Anderson, Yasmine Akram and Adam Deacon

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now