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Entries in 20th Century Women [2016] (1)

Wednesday
Jan252017

20th Century Women (2016)

2016 was a great year for good movies about bad parenting. In Captain Fantastic, Viggo Mortensen plays a free-spirited single dad raising awkward kids to rebel against a society he doesn't agree with. In 20th Century Women, Annette Bening plays Dorothea, a free-spirited single mom raising a teenage boy in late-70s America--a society she doesn't understand enough to know where disagreements may lay. Dorothea referees an internal battle between Depression-Era ethos and feminist liberation, while her outward expression of love toward young Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) involves outsourcing his life education to three equally lost souls: a carpenter (Billy Crudup), an artist (Greta Gerwig), and Jamie's classmate/crush (Elle Fanning). Both films' protagonists make selfish, messy, potentially scarring decisions regarding their children, but the narratives are smart enough to reserve judgment. Lifelong love may be pure, but the satellite view ain't pretty. Sorry, did I say "bad parenting"? I meant "parenting".

For some 21st century thoughts on 20th Century Women, check out Kicking the Seat Podcast #186, with special guests Pam Powell of Reel Honest Reviews and David Fowlie of Keeping it Reel!