Annette Bening

20th Century Women

Mike Mills has taken me on a beautiful, natural journey that gives you the spectrum of generational perspectives. The organic simplicity of his writing allows viewers, most importantly women to identify with each stage of life. Mills brought the ageing woman Dorothea, played by the incomparable Annette Bening, to the forefront. She was a woman, Mills made sure that her motherhood was not the one thing that defined her as a character. She had depth and her delivery of these complex ideals of womanhood were delivered beautifully. Mills wanted the entire spectrum of the female experience to be presented by three different perspectives and he did that with Dorothea, Abbie and Julie. It is such a unique film but it is by far one of the strongest feminist films that I have seen. Mills truly wants people to understand how complex women are and how everyone should pay attention to their strengths.

I adored the way Mills structured this film. He allowed women to be themselves, he wrote them in such a natural way; the way female characters should be depicted on screen. Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning are two of the brightest young actors that are working in the business today and to see them telling these stories meant a great deal. Each woman has their own story, their own journey that got them to where they are and Mills wanted that to be shared with an impressionable young man. I enjoyed that the voiceovers were by all four of them, the way they perceived each other and more importantly how they projected themselves into the world. It’s such a fine line between who we want to be and who we are that Mills brought these ideas together quite seamlessly.

When watching this film I felt calm, I watched their stories unfold and I felt at peace knowing that I could relate to more than one character because of the way they approached life and all the messy bumps that come with it. I admire these women and I felt refreshed after watching it. This is definitely a film that I will keep close to my heart.