20th Century Women

Title aside, a perfect movie for today

In this latest gem from indie writer/director Mike Mills (Beginners, Thumbsucker), a determined single mother in her 50s (a never-better Annette Bening) struggles to relate to her 15-year- old son (Lucas Jade Zumann) amid the changing and relaxed social mores of 1979 Santa Barbara. On hand to offer what help they can are a female boarder (Greta Gerwig), a teenage neighbor (Elle Fanning) and a hippie carpenter (Billy Crudup). This keenly intelligent flick is awkwardly amusing, purposely messy, unhurried and uninhibited; with an irresistible sense of life’s goofiness that makes you laugh with recognition. (119 min)