And there’s a wonderful performance by a Jack Russell Terrier named Cosmo. You have to see the film to understand.
But it’s the veteran Plummer who really runs off with the film, grabbing one of those rare, juicy late-career roles and really running with it. Here is a man who’s been forced to conform to society’s norms his entire life, and Plummer is a joy to watch as Hal, a man who delights in each new day with a spirit that refuses to diminish, even with a death sentence looming over his head. Much like Hal Holbrook’s terrific turn in Sean Penn’s 2007 Into the Wild, I predict an Academy Award nomination for Plummer.
Beginners is currently playing in selected cities but is scheduled to roll out to more screens. I hope it does. In a summer in which mutants, pirates, aliens and bridesmaids are are all struggling for box office domination, this quiet, poignant film is a real treasure.