Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beginners Soundtrack [2011]
The impact of parents on their children has rarely been captured with the wit and compassion of Beginners, a sweet comedy about love and fear. Ewan McGregor, perhaps the most charming actor alive, plays a graphic artist named Oliver, whose elderly father Hal (played with a deft mix of twinkle and gravitas by Christopher Plummer) comes out as gay after Oliver's mother dies. Alas, Hal also discovers he has terminal cancer--but he crams as much life into the time left to him as he can.

Beginners skips back and forth between Oliver's last months with his father and his first months with a young actress, Anna (Mélanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds), towards whom he feels a mesmerizing attraction… and with whom he shares a paralyzing fear of intimacy. All of which sounds ponderous and drab, but Beginners is the exact opposite. Writer-director Mike Mills brings a wonderfully light and wistfully humorous touch to these heavy topics, as well as an eye for engaging visuals. Mills and his outstanding cast delicately weave the different threads of Oliver's life into a delicate but emotionally potent whole. Mills's previous film, Thumbsucker, showed promise; Beginners fulfills it.

01. Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael) [02:28]
02. Everything's Made for Love (Gene Austin) [03:01]
03. Bach Suite (Tina Guo, Joseph Meyer & Daniel Rosenboom) [04:34]
04. 1955 (Brian Reitzell, Dave Palmer & Roger Neill) [02:14]
05. Sweet Jazz Music (Jelly Roll Morton) [01:43]
06. That Da Da Strain (Mamie Smith) [02:51]
07. Mamanita (Jelly Roll Morton) [04:14]
08. Moon Waltz (Brian Reitzell, Dave Palmer & Roger Neill) [01:28]
09. Veronica's Blues (Brian Reitzell, Dave Palmer & Roger Neill) [02:05]
10. Breezin' Along With the Breeze (Josephine Baker) [02:56]
11. Beginners (Theme Suite) (Brian Reitzell, Dave Palmer & Roger Neill) [08:00]
12. Buddy Bertrand's Blues (Jelly Roll Morton) [04:26]


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